Davis High School

Davis School District in Kaysville, Utah, stepped boldly into the 21st century with its new 353,000-square-foot Davis High School completed in August 2004 at a cost of $32 million. The sleek, high-tech facility replaced one built in 1914 with 17 additions added over the decades. A key design goal of project architect Boyd McAlister of VCBO Architecture in Salt Lake City was to create a small school feel even though Davis High has more than 2,400 students. Glass was a key that added a sense of lightness and transparency.

The building features a 34,000-square-foot curtain wall consisting of 1-inch insulating Solarban 60 glass manufactured by PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh, fabricated by Northwestern Industries, Seattle, with framing by Arcadia, Stamford, Conn. McAlister used 9,000 square feet of interior glass to expose circulation areas, classrooms and gyms and to connect the building with breathtaking scenes of Utah’s majestic natural environment. “There are places where you can stand in the commons area and look through to the exterior,” McAlister says. “On one side there are views of the Great Salt Lake and on the other is the Wasatch Mountain Range.” The interior also includes 2,000 square feet of FireLite fire-rated ceramic glass manufactured by Technical Glass Products of Kirkland, Wash., set in fire-rated frames manufactured by Titan Metal Products in Sacramento, Calif.

Davis has at least 200 operable exterior windows composed of T200 series frames by Arcadia, with 1-inch insulating Solarban 60 glass, positioned within both the curtain-wall glass and masonry elements of the building. The windows range in size from 3 feet by 2 feet to 4 feet by 6 feet. A special focal point is an 8-foot-by-12-foot glass floor piece at the entrance of the library. Composed of Litefloor LF 24⁄3 clear float glass manufactured by St. Gobain, Scottsdale, Ariz., it adds architectural interest and reinforces the themes of lightness and transparency by providing views to the hallway below. Steel Encounters Inc. of Salt Lake City installed all the glass and was on site for approximately one year on this complicated and challenging project.