Best K-12: Spectrum Academy Charter High School
Spectrum Academy Charter High School
North Salt Lake, Utah
Owner: Spectrum Academy
Lead Design Firm: Curtis Miner Architecture
General Contractor: Stout Building Contractors
Structural Engineer: Dynamic Structures
Civil Engineer: Excel Engineering Inc.
MEP Engineer: David L. Jensen & Associates
Electrical Engineer: Dean Levorsen Engineering LLC
Landscape Design: P.E.C.
Subcontractors: Blaze Constructors; Commercial Kitchen Supply; CR Lighting & Electric Inc.; Custom Mechanical Design; D&J Grading; Firetrol Protection Systems; Frontline Concrete; LG Concrete; Precision Welding; Ridgeline Plumbing; Rocky Mountain Masonry
The Spectrum Academy Charter High School, which serves the autism community, is the newest addition to the school’s North Salt Lake campus. The 56,031-sq-ft high school rises three stories to maximize the constraints of the tight site.
The building displays the spectrum of autism through its design elements. Autism affects individuals differently, from mild to severe. The architect took that spectrum and translated it into the building design. From the exterior facade to the interior finish details, each aspect of the project was symbolically focused on representing the very students for whom it was built.
Outside, ordered bands of masonry transition to a diverse array of complex patterns. Inside, the school’s design integrates spacious, light-filled classrooms with designated areas for art, science, dance, physical education and music instruction. A vocational area provides job-centered training in automotive, shop and culinary arts. Sensory rooms for light and touch provide a quiet respite from other classrooms.
One of the project’s biggest challenges was the incredibly tight schedule that called for the school to open in time for the 2018-19 academic year. Management of the trades was key, requiring structural steel and masonry crews to navigate their way through the project concurrently while integrating the two very different materials. The team delivered the school in just seven months versus a more typical 12-month schedule.