ajc architects Restores Historic 1894 School into New Home for The Children’s Center
The Oquirrh School was originally designed by Richard Kletting, designer and architect for the Utah State Capitol before the turn of the 20th Century. The new project celebrated a grand opening on August 29.
Built by Utah State Capitol designer and architect Richard Kletting in 1894, the Oquirrh School is once again a place for kids and families as it has been completely restored and is now the new home of The Children’s Center in Salt Lake City.
Designed by ajc architects of Salt Lake, the four-story, 46,000-sq-ft building incorporates many sustainable features such as restoring open spaces, use of low-VOC paints, and attention to daylight with over 225 restored windows. The building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is pursuing LEED Silver certification.
Established in 1962, The Children’s Center provides comprehensive mental health care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. Originally located at 1855 Medical Drive in the Medical Research Park, it will now be housed at the restored Oquirrh School at 350 South 400 East.
“While we are the largest agency of our kind in the nation, too many families in our community still go without mental health care. This building is a great leap forward toward our goal of ensuring that all children get the help they need,” says Douglas F. Goldsmith, Ph.D., executive director and chief psychologist for The Children’s Center.
Utah-based ajc architects was selected by The Children’s Center from five other architecture firms to restore Kletting’s designed Oquirrh School. To ajc architects’ surprise, the Oquirrh School was not on the National Register despite it being one of the first public schools built in the city.
“Although Kletting designed 10 other Salt Lake City schools from 1892 until 1912 the Oquirrh School is the only one that was not demolished,” says Jill Jones, president of ajc architects. “Our first step for restoration included submitting paperwork for the school to be placed on the National Register.
The Children’s Center hosted a grand opening to celebrate the building’s new location on August 29, which was presided over by Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker and other local officials.