Willie Ross School for the Deaf breaks ground on $1.2 million expansion

April 17, 2019 | Payton North

WRSD parent representative Irina Lezhnyak, student representative Richard Whyte, Board Chair Dr. J. Robert Kirkwood, Rep. Brian Ashe and WRSD President and CEO Bert Carter break ground on the $1.2 million addition to the school’s campus.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

LONGMEADOW – Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on April 11 on a $1.2 million expansion to the campus. Local officials including state Rep. Brian Ashe and state Sen. Eric Lesser attended the event in support of the project.

Parents founded the WRSD in 1967 in an effort to provide quality programs and services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

The expansion to the WRSD will add a second story to the current Sidney Cooley Administration Building located at 32 Norway St in Longmeadow. The new space will offer an area for interpreters, a redesigned main entrance, an updated audiology center, improved wheelchair access, upgraded administrative technology and a space for the school’s Creating Access to the Real World Employment for Students (CARES) program.

In addition to these improvements, the campus will replace windows and insulation and include new landscaping on the surrounding property.

The WRSD offers audiology services to the public, accepting both adult and pediatric patients for hearing aid fittings and hearing evaluations. By adding the additional space to the building, the WRSD will have more space to service these patrons.

In a statement, President and CEO of WRSD Bert Carter said, “We have been operating within an aging and inefficient infrastructure for a long time, and this capital improvement plan will allow us to provide a 21st century learning environment for our school community.”

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