Thursday, April 29, 2010

Albuquerque to open new school for the deaf

From KOAT-TV in Albuquerque:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A new school for the deaf is coming to the Duke City. The county commission voted this week to lease a county building to the ABQ Sign Language Academy.

The new school will be the only school for the deaf in the Duke City.

Kimberly Silva's son Thomas is deaf and attends an Albuquerque Public School that has a special program that fits his needs. She said sometimes there are disadvantages.

"When you only have 25 or 30 that are deaf or hard of hearing, that limits the number of students you can talk with or work with," said Silva.

The school will be more convenient for hearing-impaired students, who currently have to go to Santa Fe to attend a school for the deaf.

The charter school will be in downtown Albuquerque. The cost to renovate the building is $500,000. County officials said that $400,000 will come from them and $100,000 will come from the state.

County Commissioner Art De La Cruz said that the county is budgeted for special projects like this.

"We want to make sure we have a safe, healthy building so the county is accepting that responsibility as a landlord fundamentally," said De La Cruz.

According to officials, ABQ Sign Language Academy will pay $30,000 a year to the county. The school will be responsible for its own utilities and operating expenses.

The Academy will take 40 children and will start enrollment in July.