A palpable air of triumph was in the air on Saturday as the Rocky Mountain Deaf School finally broke ground on a site for its new school.
Members of the deaf community, RMDS supporters and faculty and students were all on hand at the site of the school’s location, right next to D’Evelyn Junior-Senior High School.
“I hope you’re all excited as I am,” said Derek Sevier, who is deaf and the father of two deaf children and has been working on locating a site for the school. “This new building has gone through so many amazing changes.”
Nancy Bridenbaugh, former director of the RMDS, spoke about the challenges the school and deaf community faced in getting funding for the school and finding a site.
“What I remember most throughout the entire process is the support we received,” she said. “I think Lakewood will never forget us.”
The original plan was for the school to be built on a 10-acre piece of land at 2090 Wright St., but due to neighborhood reactions and the potential cost of putting the issue to a vote, Jeffco Schools pulled the application to build there in September of 2012.
The school was able to purchase the land near D’Evelyn, and deaf students from all over the state finally had a home.
“This will be our sacred land forever,” said Cliff Moers, founder of the school. “We work to help deaf children become whole people, and we now have a whole home for them.
Moers said that it was due to the deaf community’s perseverance that the school was able to carry on through the challenges and find it’s location.
Jeffco superintendant Cindy Stevenson perhaps summed up what many in the crowd were feeling, when she said “I’ve seen a lot of miracles in my 12 years, but this might be the best one.”
Digging at the site began on Monday, and the goal is to have the school build by fall of 2014.
For more information, visit www.rmdeafschool.net.