Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Mackworth Island, Falmouth, Maine

The School for the Deaf campus developed in the mid-1950s as a collection of brick buildings with connecting walkways surrounding Governor Baxter’s summer estate on Mackworth Island.  Barba + Wheelock teamed up with Winter & Company from Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in design for the deaf and hard of hearing, to design a new, 10,000 SF Academic Building. The building program consists of classrooms, a multi-purpose room, art and science rooms, and several specialty classrooms. It serves the entire school population from K-8, and provided space for infant-pre-kindergarten programs and professionals researching deaf education.  The campus library was relocated to this new facility.

The project team was involved from programming through design and construction, to furniture selection The Percent for Art Program engaged two artists, one a deaf painter, who’s two works now hang in the main lobby., and Silver LEED Certification.  Brewster Hall is the first new building constructed on the campus since the original school buildings were constructed in the 1950s.  Our team was successful in securing a $91,000 grant from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) toward the installation of energy efficient features. The new building is a demonstration of the commitment to sustainable design on the campus, and achieved a Silver rating by the USGBC Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEEDTM) program.

This project was featured in Architectural Record, “Schools for the 21st Century” and GreenSource.  “Paying special attention to compensatory senses also characterizes schools for special-needs students. At Brewster Hall, a new K-8 building at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth, Maine… Barba + Wheelock deftly balanced daylighting and lamp illumination. The resulting system of light shelves and roof monitors allows daylight into deep interior spaces like the library and minimizes glare in order to facilitate hearing-impaired students’ reliance on visual information. “

Completion
: 2005

Size
: 10,000 SF

Special Features
: Sustainable design, rated LEED-Silver

Team secured a $91,000 grant from the Public Utilities Commission for energy efficient systems installation.

Percent for Art program features furniture and other commissioned art pieces throughout Baxter Hall.

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