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Pressley Ridge Is Developing A State-Of-The-Art School For Students Who Are Deaf And Autistic

Courtesy of Pressley Ridge
Pressley Ridge installed a web cam to capture time-lapse progress on the site where its new School for Autism will open for the 2019-2020 school year.

Proper classroom accommodations for students on the autism spectrum can be hard to come by. One local group hopes to provide better access to environments where students have the best chance at a good education. 

Credit Courtesy of Pressley Ridge
Courtesy of Pressley Ridge

Pressley Ridge CEO Susanne Cole says their new, state-of-the-art school building for deaf and autistic students on the North Side will feature adjustable lighting, quiet floor tiles and other sensory friendly features geared toward autistic students.

At 40,000 square feet, there's plenty of space for classrooms, plus extras like a student-run coffee shop, a culinary classroom and a specialized lab for exploring career skills, she says. Construction on the school is expected to be finished in time to begin the 2019-2020 school year.


Later in the program, both the Allegheny and Monongahela wharfs helped shape the city into what it is today. 90.5 WESA’s Katie Blackley reports on how the large rings found along the 10th Street bypass and Allegheny riverfront trail can be traced back to when that area was used as a commercial wharf.


President Trump’s proposed steel border wall is at the center of the longest federal government shutdown in United States history. While Trump's pitched the wall as a great opportunity for the steel industry, it has been caught up in the shutdown as well. WESA’s Lucy Perkins reports on how the demand for wall materials will affect the national steel industry.  


Credit Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
These rings are attached to the 10th Street Bypass ramp leading to Fort Duquesne Boulevard. They've been graffitied over and aren't used for their original purpose, but still add to the nautical theme of the Allegheny Riverfront Park.

  The Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation announced Wednesday that nine venues will expand to allow more opportunities for live music. WESA's Bill O’Driscoll reports on a new initiative known as “Music City Downtown,” and what it means for fans of live music.


With a mission of turning the time for those incarcerated into a period of growth, education and rehabilitation, Book ‘Em Pittsburgh sends free books to more than 150 prisoners in Pennsylvania. Organizer Jodi Lincoln explores how the accessibility of books can benefit prisoners in the long run.


And to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Repair the World Pittsburgh is hosting a discussion in collaboration with groups like A+ Schools, Higher Achievement and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to talk about racial disparities in Pittsburgh City Schools.


“If we don't talk about (racism and racial biases), people aren't going to know," executive director Zack Block says. "A lot of us live in a bubble where we remain outside of that knowledge, and if we can make some people aware and affect them in some way, then hopefully they will start serving and working towards systemic change.”

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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