LGE Design Build will break ground on the $4.5 million Phoenix West Campus of The Austin Centers for Exceptional Students (The ACES) at 9:30 a.m. on April 17. The ACES, a state approved school, is the largest private provider of special education in Arizona partnering with 65 district and charter schools.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela will turn a spade of dirt and assist students in burying a time capsule to be covered with concrete. In addition, State Representative Heather Carter, a champion for education, will be speaking.

Starting in the fall, the school will serve approximately 75 students in the Southwest Valley with autism, emotional disabilities and intellectual disabilities. The ACES offers highly successful behavioral and academic remediation, and returns about 30 percent of the student population to their public schools each year.

The 30,000-square-foot, K-12 Phoenix West Campus will feature a sensory room for students with autism; a life skills room to teach independent living; a vocational technology center to teach construction, auto mechanics, woodworking and computer skills; a commercial kitchen to teach food handling skills; and a performing arts area for music, art and drama. Located on four acres, the school will have fields, basketball courts and a large playground to encourage physical fitness.

The Phoenix West Campus will replace the Avondale campus currently housed in leased space. Other campuses are located in Peoria and Tempe.