Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) is the world's only institution combining oral education for deaf children, scientific research, clinical services, and graduate education. CID's objective in creating a new campus was to provide a friendly, inviting village to foster interaction across research and education disciplines. Mackey Mitchell was selected to design the new campus in context with an existing 1927 Mediterranean-style building with tile roofs, towers and arcades. The new two-story, 42,000SF classroom building has a full-sized gym, early childhood/family education center, and audiometric testing suite. The adjacent 65,000SF research building features traditional wet labs, microscopy, and spaces for behavioral science research.
Building quiet classrooms adjacent to a major interstate highway presented significant technical and design challenges. From the outset of design, our team implemented a comprehensive acoustical design strategy, impacting every decision from the building envelope and mechanical systems to individual room finishes. Our goal was to provide an extremely high-performance acoustical environment in a warm, nurturing setting. The result surpasses every published standard for background noise, with classrooms testing below NC-20, and reverberation times below 0.2 seconds.
Preparing deaf children to communicate seamlessly in a hearing world is a maddeningly complex undertaking, requiring daily interdisciplinary collaboration between highly-trained teachers and dedicated clinicians. While the success of CID’s academic mission relies in large part on the finely-tuned classrooms and work spaces we provided, we’re equally proud of the way CID’s families have embraced the homelike feel and approachable setting we helped create.
Passion + Perspective
Mackey Mitchell's design for our new school and research center achieves all of our goals and more.
- Judy Alexander
(Former) Director of Administration and Finance Project Manager, CID
Senior Project Architect