The new Granger High School, the largest high school in Utah, replaced an aging 1950s building that was too small and outdated and that did not meet building codes to withstand a major earthquake. The 440,000-sq-ft replacement facility features three hallways that allow students to be grouped in learning communities in order to attend classes with others in the same grade or with those who share interest in the same field, such as health and medicine. The new school opened with about 1,700 students in fall 2013.

Photo courtesy of Jacobsen Construction
The school's amenities rival and even exceed those of many community colleges.
Photo courtesy of Jacobsen Construction
The new school opened with about 1,700 students in fall 2013.

The school's amenities rival and even exceed those of many community colleges, with an indoor pool, three gymnasiums, an indoor running track and a dance studio. The cultural arts amenities are also impressive. Students can enjoy performances in a state-of-the-art, 1,500-seat auditorium with high-tech scenery, fly loft and lighting; the backstage area alone is larger than the old high school's auditorium. A black-box theater is available for smaller performances.

The school's vocational programs are supported by auto body and mechanics shops, shops for wood and metal work, labs for computer, cooking and sewing instruction, space for television production, graphic arts programs, screen printing and the traditional sciences, including biology and physics labs, as well as math and English classrooms.

A continuing adult education program and a driver's education program are included, in addition to a centralized special needs program. The new facility also features a daycare learning facility on site, which supports educators and students.

The centrally located administration wing features exceptional daylighting and views of the primary entrances. Another notable feature is the commons area, with indoor and outdoor circulation spaces that create opportunities for non-typical teaching forums.

The project's main challenge was the complexity of the structural design and coordination with architectural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing components.

The Jacobsen team invested a significant amount of time and money resolving conflicts in construction documents. Jacobsen proposed a number of value-engineering options at the start of the project, saving the owner more than $1 million from the original contract amount.

2013 Best Intermountain K-12 School Project

Granger High School

West Valley City, Utah

Key Players

Owner Granite School District, Salt Lake City

Architect Naylor Wentworth Lund, Salt Lake City

General Contractor Jacobsen Construction Co., Salt Lake City

Structural Engineer BHB Consulting Engineers, Salt Lake City

Mechanical Engineer Van Boerum & Frank, Salt Lake City

Electrical Engineer BNA Consulting Engineers, Salt Lake City

Civil Engineer CRS Engineers, Salt Lake City

Geotechnical Engineer Professional Service Industries Inc., Salt Lake City

Landscape Architect E.A. Lyman Landscape Architecture, Sandy, Utah