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State Schools Seek To Combine Campuses For Deaf And Blind

February 5, 2007

State schools seek to combine campuses for deaf and blind

COLUMBUS – Students attending separate state schools for the blind and the deaf would share a campus under a $40 million plan that school officials expect to present to lawmakers later this year.

Some older buildings would be replaced when the campuses of the Ohio State School for the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf are combined, according to a preliminary plan.

The institutions would share expenses including maintenance, food and health services.
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Classrooms would remain separate.

“Both schools will retain their identities,” said Edward E. Corbett Jr., superintendent of the School for the Deaf.

“With deafness they deal with communication. With blindness they deal with mobility … It’s like mixing oranges and apples,” he said.

Officials are evaluating whether jobs would be affected, said Lou Mazzoli, superintendent of the School for the Blind.

The schools operate separate campuses next to one another on state-owned property in northern Columbus.

Under the proposal, they would come together on the School for the Deaf’s site.

With $4 million in state funding already cleared for the planning on the project, a state agency is accepting bids from architectural firms.

School officials hope to submit a request for construction funding to lawmakers in the spring or summer, and the work could get under way this year, Mazzoli said.