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The Learning Center for the Deaf to Build Early Childhood Center with Help from $3.6 Million MassDevelopment Bond

June 03, 2010

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086
Carla DelPizzo, TLC

MassDevelopment has issued $3.6 million in tax-exempt bonds on behalf of The Learning Center for the Deaf, the first school in Massachusetts to provide a formal education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students using sign language as the primary mode of communication. The Center plans to use bond proceeds to build a 20,000-square-foot Early Childhood Center in Framingham, a project expected to create 43 construction jobs. Danversbank purchased the bonds. In addition to issuing the bonds, MassDevelopment also provided a $1 million mortgage insurance guarantee.

In addition to creating a home for the Early Childhood Center, the new building will house the CVS/Caremark Library. Executive Director Michael Bello acknowledged the significance of this project for the school: “Not only will the new building open the doors to language and communication for our youngest children, but its library will be a resource for continuing the development of literacy skills and learning.”

“The Learning Center for the Deaf has been a leader in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students for four decades, fitting together an environment where these students learn through both sign language and spoken English,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. “And the new Early Childhood Center will enhance programs for the many young students who attend The Learning Center from throughout the Commonwealth.”

Founded in 1970, The Learning Center for the Deaf is a state-approved day and residential school that serves deaf and hard of hearing students. The Center educates about 210 students per year in its preschool, elementary, middle, and high school programs. Students come from more than 17 states, although more than 90 percent of the student population comes from Massachusetts. The Center's main campus in Framingham consists of 17 buildings spread out over 12 acres, and it has a smaller, secondary location in Randolph.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2009, MassDevelopment financed or managed 229 projects statewide representing the investment of nearly $1.2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are supporting the creation of 1,488 new housing units and 8,232 jobs: 3,362 permanent and 4,870 construction-related.