New Dorm Improves Living at Gallaudet University

A new facility at Gallaudet University has many students excited about the return of the school year.

A new building has special features designed to make life easier for students who are hard of hearing or deaf. The new 60,000-square-foot residence hall was designed with DeafSpace, an architectural concept that makes interaction easier among deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Student Tony Tatum plays football at the school and was first to move in.

“I’m really happy we have a new dorm,” he said. “It’s very deaf-friendly. A lot of space. Fresh smell, like a new house. It’s very nice.”

The space has a modern feel with large windows, wide halls and soft lighting -- all aimed at creating a campus environment better suited for their students. There's also a learning lab with moving chalkboards.

Even the littlest things like the front sliding doors make students’ lives easier. It allows them to keep signing while walking without being interrupted.

University President Alan Hurwitz said he’s really seen the Gallaudet community come together.

“They’re already so excited. I would say the best part of this design and construction of this dorm is that the students have been involved since day one,” Hurwitz said.

Tony said he took too much stuff. He wanted to be well prepared for a long school year.

“It’s like bringing people home instead of to a dorm,” he said.

A home they might not want to leave to go to class.

Classes at Gallaudet start a week from Monday.

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