A 10 year-old Albuquerque-based program dedicated to the educational needs of deaf children is making plans for the construction of a new facility.
Currently located in a one-story building at 620 Lomas Boulevard NW, the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy is a nationally recognized institute serving children from kindergarten to 12th grade.
The public charter academy is the first American Sign Language-English dual language program to be certified by the State of New Mexico and was officially opened in 2010.
Because of its success, the school, starting out with an initial enrollment of 36 students, now has around three times that many, along with a waiting list of applicants who want to be a part of the program.
Before the current Lomas location was opened, some $350,000 in state and county funding was spent to remodel the structure, which is owned by Bernalillo County.
But ongoing growth since then has come with a price, as the school has outgrown its 9,800 square foot location.
A site for a new location has not yet been determined, while the school remains in the process of trying to secure funding to build a new facility.
The academy’s executive director, Raphael Martinez, has announced that he is currently working with state officials in the hope of obtaining a grant to at least partly underwrite the cost of building the new school.
By Garry Boulard
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