Wheeler Historic Farm Outdoor Education Center

Murray, Utah

Award of Merit

Submitted by: ajc architects

Owner: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Dept.

Lead Design Firm: ajc architects

General Contractor: Nicholson Management Co. Inc.

Civil Engineer: Ensign Engineering

Structural Engineer: BHB Structural Engineering

MEP Engineer: Spectrum Engineers

Landscape Architect: ArcSitio Design

As a year-round learning center, this 6,450-sq-ft facility will help visitors reconnect with nature, learn about the Salt Lake Valley’s agricultural heritage and provide opportunities to learn about historic farming practices through hands-on experiences.

Features include a 150-seat experiential learning lab, outdoor classrooms, demonstration kitchen, administration offices and learning gardens.

After construction was partially completed, the project sat vacant for a year and a half due to the pandemic and other issues. The original contractor became insolvent, and the project went into bonding. Nicholson then picked it up to complete the remaining scope. With the transition and unplanned delay in the schedule, the new contractor had minimal existing data for reference. A new construction plan and design coordination protocol reworked some of the existing elements that had to be replaced or repaired. Work progressed quickly after construction remobilized, and the team brought the project to a close in June 2022. In addition to sustainable materials, the team attempted to recycle or salvage a minimum of 75% of the waste generated on site. The project earned LEED Silver certification.