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Colorado School for the Deaf and the BlindThe Gottlieb Building

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"We are so glad we selected RTA. They have met with us and worked with us beyond what we expected and listened to us and come up with a great plan that we are very excited about.”

Carol Hilty, Superintendent, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind

The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) won a BEST Grant in 2010 to fund a much-needed expansion and complete renovation of its 60-year-old Gottlieb Building After the completion of this project, the Gottlieb Building now serves as the hub of student activity on the campus, though it wasn’t always that way. Previously, the building had several security and life-safety issues, general building condition problems, program-to-space matching challenges, and poor visibility within the facility, which is especially problematic for a building focused primarily on serving students who are deaf.

The team at RTA’s goal was to preserve the historic aura of this beautiful structure, while gracefully introducing modern technology and style. RTA also intentionally designed with a focus on the needs of this unique population of students and staff. One of the greatest desires of the school from the onset of the design was openness for the new building. This openness not only enhances communication for the deaf, but it also provides “passive supervision,” which enhances security and encourages appropriate behaviour.

The new Gottlieb Building houses a state-of-the-art media center, a new science lab, a distance learning classroom, flexible spaces for student and staff, and an outdoor classroom. The entire facility provides appropriate lighting levels for signed communication, acoustic control for hard-of-hearing students and staff, and education spaces that meet 21st Century education standards.


  • 2012 Honor Award, AIA Colorado South Chapter
  • 2011 Summit Design Merit Award for Renovation, CEFPI
  • 2011 Award of Excellence, Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs
  • LEED for Schools - Silver Certification