After four years of planning and construction, Albuquerque Public Schools has opened a $22 million facility for special needs students.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Aztec Special Education Complex houses 20 highly specialized classrooms and 77 offices for diagnosticians and support staff.
The 65,000-square-foot building will serve some of the state’s highest-need students from prekindergarten through age 22.
“We have a vision of working with students in innovative ways that are based on their gifts,” Principal Lisa Heimer says.
Construction of the facility came after years of research, Heimer says. She and other staff visited schools around the nation to explore best practices.
Aztec enrolls about 135 kids who have special needs such as autism or medical issues. The Albuquerque district says the complex consists of
- 20 specialized classrooms
- Occupational and physical therapy space
- 77 offices for diagnosticians, ancillary support and administration
- A nurse's clinic and suite
- Eight Individualized Education Plan meeting rooms
- Audiology space
- A multipurpose room and gym
- A kitchen and cafeteria
- Two secure outside clinical/recreational areas
- A secure outside equipment storage area
Funding the complex came from a $575 million bond package that voters approved in February 2016.