Minnesota Autism Center High School
The first of its kind
A love of learning loomed large on this project. For 20 years, the Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) has provided autism therapy services in a variety of formats. In September 2016, MAC dramatically expanded its offerings with the opening of the first high school designed for autistic students in the country. RSP was challenged to design a school as mainstream as possible while incorporating the unique needs of the students with MAC’s therapeutic methodology.
The result is a 50,000-SF new building with wide hallways, pops of color and lots of daylight. While sensory-sensitive issues were taken into consideration, MAC’s philosophy includes teaching students how to manage in safe, real-world settings. To help, our design team took care to consider the “in-between” or transition spaces. The entry to each classroom features a window seat where students can pause and prepare for a new environment.