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Home > Clerc Center > NewDormReimaginesMSSDExperience

A Student-Inspired Dorm Design Reimagines the MSSD Experience for the 21st Century


The proposed design for the new dormitory facility for Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) has been selected!

Watch our captioned ASL announcement by Mindi Failing, MSSD principal, and John Castrese, director of Student Life, for details:

Students, student life staff, and Gallaudet architects collaborated during the design competition process and chose Dangermond Keane Architecture (DKa) /Gaudreau Inc. from among three architects. Both firms have experience designing with Deafspace principles: DKa has worked with Gallaudet University and Gaudreau recently designed an educational and residential facility for Delaware School for the Deaf that also included an auditorium, cafeteria, and gym, and we are excited to have their expertise.

The new residence hall helps us deliver a 21st century living and learning experience to our students, specifically:

  • Introducing a new campus flow, promoting integration between our academic and residential spaces;
  • Continued deployment of DeafSpace architectural design principles, with open sightlines and plenty of natural lighting;
  • Demonstrating best practices in energy conservation and environmental sustainability, with qualification for LEED Silver rating; and
  • Showcasing our presence in our nation's capital with a view of the U.S. Capitol and the northeastern quadrant of Washington, D.C.

“Their proposal had everything we wanted for MSSD. The design was functional, it was also beautiful and allowed for future planning around the building, and the DKa/Gaudreau team was very receptive to the students' feedback,” said MSSD Principal Mindi Failing. “They were the right architect for our vision of a state-of-the-art facility that will provide our students with an even higher quality of residential learning and living.”

New Dorm - Quad

The new residence facility will have four floors, an activity center, rooms to accommodate 160 students, and apartments for staff-in-residence and student programming. "I would like to thank the students for their contribution to the dorm design competition process. Their insightful suggestions impacted all proposed designs," said Ed Bosso, vice president of the Clerc Center. "This design is made possible because of our students and leads us into an exciting reimagination of the MSSD experience."

Groundbreaking for the new dorm is anticipated in fall 2014, following the demolition of Residence Hall B. Move-in for the new dorm is scheduled for 2016. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions document, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

(Read our first announcement from September 30, 2013 and our second announcement from February 24, 2014.)

New dorm - at night, with a movie projected on an outdoor screen