Governor Baxter School for the Deaf

New K-8 Educational Center
Falmouth, ME USA
GovBaxter - Front

Front Entrance of K-12 Educational Center

This new K-8 educational center is the product of a long effort by the administration of Governor Baxter School for the Deaf to relieve extreme issues with HVAC, lighting and functional needs for the deaf at their existing middle and high school. The original educational program called for major renovation to the existing middle and high schools. Dickinson + Partners conducted an extensive programming and research study with the teachers, staff and administration. In the process, the State of Maine’s Bureau of Buildings and Grounds realized that it would be most cost effective in terms of programming for the deaf, HVAC and energy savings to demolish both facilities and construct a new K-8 educational center that would have the flexibility to serve middle and high school students.

Baxter Sunlight study

Day-Lighting Details

Baxter Site plan

Campus Plan










The one-story school is organized around teaching pods, each with a perimeter of classrooms surrounding special needs classrooms, lobby and library. This promotes interaction and provides smooth student flow between the classrooms and the Library. Long corridors also enable students and staff to see from one end to the other end. The structure is built into a site sloped to the south, taking full advantage of the southern exposure and the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the Library. Landscaped light slopes introduce natural daylight to the classrooms, Library and the commons area. Light shelves and windows are carefully designed to allow natural sunlight without glare and direct lighting into the space.

The entrance canopy forms a “visual capture” element that draws people from the parking lot to the facility.

Baxter Study area

Light Shelves at the Library

Baxter Rear

Rear of the Classrooms facing the ocean