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Student-Driven Design: A New Dorm


The site of the new dormitory facility for Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) has been selected! With "Where?" answered, up next is "What will it look like?" Watch our captioned ASL announcement by John Castrese, director of Student Life, for the location of the build site and how the students will be at the heart of the design competition process:

After school programs and weekend activities are critical parts of student development and planning at MSSD. The design competition will consist of student-centered charrettes, or formal workshops, intended to elicit students' insight into how a residence hall can enhance the MSSD experience:

(Read our first announcement from September 30, 2013)

February 24 - Design Charrette #1: This all-day design workshop will include a tour of the building site, a student-led tour of "a day in the life of an MSSD student," and the first round of design competition. Three architectural firms will visit MSSD; listen to input, ideas, and needs from the Dorm Design Committee; and then incorporate those ideas in creating possible designs.

February 25 - Student Charrette #1: Approximately 60 MSSD students have been given an assignment to take pictures of "the spirit of MSSD" and the things that inspire them about being here on campus. These students will bring these pictures to this workshop and break into small group "idea sessions" to express their thoughts about the new building. The architects will observe these idea sessions and then present back to students what they saw.

March 20 - Charrette #2: The students and the Dorm Design Committee will view first draft design presentations by each of the three architectural firms and provide feedback.

April 3 - Charrette #3: The Dorm Design Committee will review second draft designs and hold feedback sessions with each of the three architectural firms.

April 29 - Final interviews: The Dorm Design Committee will evaluate final designs from each architectural firm and host an open viewing of all final designs for the community.

The Dorm Design Committee provides for a mix of perspectives, and the members are as follows:

  • John Castrese, MSSD Director of Student Life
  • Clinton Church, Residence Educator
  • Mindi Failing, MSSD Principal
  • Shirley Hampton, Residence Educator
  • Rachel Parker, Residence Educator
  • Chris Sewell, Lead Residential Educator, Boys Dorm
  • Jennie Sivak, Residence Education Manager, Girls Dorm
  • Uriel Torres, Student Activities Manager
  • Tim Frelich, Clerc Center space planning
  • Nicole Sutliffe, Clerc Center Executive Director, Administration and Operations
  • Hansel Bauman, Campus Design and Construction
  • Amon Brown, Campus Design and Construction
  • Sean Hourihan, Gallaudet Technical Services
  • Robert Sirvage, DeafSpace

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions document, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

We are excited to be moving closer toward the opening of a state-of-the-art facility that will provide our students with an even higher quality of residential learning and living.