West Bountiful Elementary School | Architect’s Review
The reconstruction of West Bountiful Elementary School has created a new icon for the local neighborhood and surrounding community. Situated on a difficultly shaped site, the existing school was to remain in place and operational during construction. This required careful planning and thought to develop a layout that fit into the context of the site, ensured maximum future flexibility, and took advantage of solar orientations. The project team held a series of “blue sky” meetings early in the process to better understand the goals of the Davis School District, the school administration / teachers and the community at large. Additionally, the team designed a student engagement activity that asked each child to imagine what the world will be like 50 years from now and how the new school might fit into that future vision. By bringing all these ideas together, a design was developed that focused on student learning, comfort and curiosity.
The 65,000 square foot two-level elementary is a next-generation learning environment with open collaborative spaces that promote a variety of learning activities. Each learning studio opens with a retractable sliding door to a shared collaboration space that transforms the learning environment in a simple and affordable way. Extensibility is built into the design by designing the east wing to easily add a second tier in the future to accommodate growth without the use of portable classrooms. The school has a second-level multimedia center, as well as an “Imaginerium”, a place where students can express their creativity in an art studio combined with a creation space. Colorful and vibrant, the custom interior graphics are playful and imaginative, a direct result of the student-focused activities in the planning and design process. A landscaped outdoor courtyard is designed as an outdoor learning classroom while the playgrounds are actively used by students early in the morning and throughout the day.