Over a period of just six years, in the era during which it was called The Ladd School, a series of building projects transformed the institution's antiquated physical plant into a progressive, modern facility.
In 1959, the completion of the Education and Recreation Building established the institution's first classrooms designed for the instruction of "special education." In 1962, a state-of-the-art hospital and rehabilitation unit brought modern medical facilities to the reservation. In 1964, four residential cottages were established as an alternative to dormitory life. And later, in 1972, a years-long donation program allowed for the addition of an Olympic-sized swimming pool at the school.
With each new construction, groundbreaking ceremonies and opening day celebrations marked each occasion, attended by the state Governor and other notable dignitaries who delivered their addresses, lauding a hopeful new era in the now burgeoning field of Human Services.
Highlights of this collection include original copies of invitations to the dedication ceremonies for all the aforementioned buildings; written remarks by RI Governor Notte and world-renowned civil rights activist Gunnar Dybwad; newspaper articles, a press release, and letters; maps and building interior descriptions; photographs of the newly-minted buildings; and an autographed photo of Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Also included in this collection are four Independence Day celebration invitations and float descriptions, documentation on the closing ceremonies for the Ladd Center in 1994, and an invitation and butterfly pin from the Ladd School Reunion in 1999.
Invitations, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, and maps to events in the Ladd School's late history.