See all projects in Featured PreK-12

Gottlieb Building Renovation, The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind

Colorado Springs, Colorado

"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, Former Superintendent


Connecting through experience of place.

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.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

RTA’s goal was to preserve the historic aura of this beautiful structure, while gracefully introducing modern technology and style. RTA also created intentional designs 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 behavior.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

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.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 38,162 sf
    • New: 9,289 sf
    • Reno: 28,862 sf
  • Project cost: $7.5M

Design Details

  • LEED-enhanced acoustics
  • Collaborative design process
  • 21st Century learning spaces
  • Daylighting
  • Energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems
  • State of the art media center
  • New science lab
  • Distance learning classroom
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Enhanced passive supervision
  • BEST Grant assistance


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