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WASHINGTON, DC-Gallaudet University has tapped SmithGroup to design an 83,000-sf academic teaching and research center here. The school expects to spend $20 million on the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communications Center.

Amherst, MA-based architect George Balsley will work with SmithGroup; as a hearing impaired individual, he will be charged with overseeing architectural design elements of the state-of-the-art building that are necessary to accommodate the students at the school for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing. The development, which has a target construction start date of June 2006.

Located not far from the intersection of Florida Ave. and New York Ave., Gallaudet University sits on 99 acres in the city’s northeast area. The new communications center, which is on schedule to reach completion in November of 2007, will consist of classrooms, laboratories, clinics, libraries, as well as office space.

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