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School for disabled students breaks ground in West Valley

PHOENIX — A school for disabled students that outgrew its old digs held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday west of Phoenix.

“We had a school for the last four years in Avondale, but we’ve outgrown the space,” Francie Austin, founder and president of the Austin Center for Exceptional Students, said. “We wanted to build a state-of-the-art campus for our students.”

The new 30,000-square-foot, K-12 school has a sensory room for students with autism. Student will learn skills in a computer area, a commercial kitchen and a performing arts area for music and drama, among other features.

“This campus will start with about 75 to 80 students,” Austin said, adding the school should be open by fall.

All classes are taught by experienced multidisciplinary teams, including educators and behavioral health professionals.