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New Rhode Island School for the Deaf Breaks Ground

Providence, RI – The Rhode Island School for the Deaf and the Rhode Island Department of Administration, Division of Capitol Projects is pleased to announce that construction will commence on the new Rhode Island School for the Deaf. The $31.3 million project is designed to meet LEED for Schools Silver standards and is anticipated to create approximately 100 construction jobs for the next two years in Rhode Island. The low bid came in lower than the estimated probable costs for the total project, therefore saving the state money.

"I am delighted to have this project underway," Governor Donald L. Carcieri said. "The Rhode Island School for the Deaf is a valuable resource for our deaf citizens and the need for a new building was obvious. I join students and teachers in looking forward to the day that classes will begin in this new building."

At 73,500 square feet (sf), the new school is designed to accommodate 168 preschool thru 12th grade students in 23 classrooms including 2 science labs. The facility will be a state of the art school for Rhode Island’s deaf and hard of hearing students on the site of the existing School for the Deaf in Providence, Rhode Island. The new construction will be a one story, 61,100 sf masonry bearing wall structure with brick and metal rainscreen veneer. The 12,400 sf renovation of the existing gymnasium and locker rooms will consist of envelope and mechanical and electrical system improvements.

The project is designed to qualify for Silver Certification under the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Schools rating system. Sustainability features of the new school will include; increased insulation in the walls and roof, continuous air/vapor barrier system, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, energy star roofing, low flow plumbing fixtures, and low VOC finishes. Envelope and systems improvements are designed to use 27% less energy than required by code and be in the top quartile of New England schools for energy efficiency by using 20% less energy than an average school in the region. Ventilation systems coupled with low VOC materials will improve indoor air quality while low flow plumbing fixtures will reduce water use by greater than 30%.

Additional design considerations unique to an educational facility for the deaf and hard of hearing include; classrooms designed to emphasize visual based education, enhanced acoustical design criteria, visual communication systems, and daylighting techniques to minimize glare.

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