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School designed for autistic students under construction in Blaine

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A school designed to educated children with autism is under construction in Blaine, KSTP reports.

Karner Blue school, which will cost $16 million to build, is scheduled to open next year.

The school will serve students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Officials with the specialized school expect about 400 students from 10 areas in the north metro area to attend.

Among the features tailored to autistic students' needs in the school are shorter hallways and smaller classroom sizes, with a 2-1 ratio for students and staff members.

In addition, there will be a reduction in noises. For example, fire alarms will not sound off, but will have flashing lights instead.

The cost cost per student will run between $35,000 to $50,000 per student, and about half that money will reimbursed by the state.

KSTP says enrollment into Karner Blue will be by referral only and parents cannot openly enroll their child.

The Minnesota Department of Health says there are 16,000 students in the state with autism.

Karner Blue will be only one of three schools in the state specifically designed for students with autism.

See KSTP's report on Karner Blue below.

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