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Openshaw Education Center

Salt Lake City, UT
C. Mark Openshaw Education Center, Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

Jacoby Architects designed and programmed this Salt Lake Center for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, a new facility providing education, therapy, and services for varying levels of sensory, behavioral, physical, and cognitive abilities. This facility is home to a diverse list of functions containing: a full size gymnasium with indoor/outdoor performing arts capability; orientation & mobility area; indoor clubhouses containing physical and occupational therapy training; multi-functional kitchen for vocational and life skills training; early childhood classrooms customized for sensory disabilities; Snoezelen room (sensory/light room); enclosed courtyard with children’s playground and sensory/exploration gardens; video conferencing rooms; and of course, lots and lots of storage!


Providing navigational points of reference and clear wayfinding in and out of the building became a necessary design concept when developing the form and selecting materials. An overall canvas of light-colored mass is highlighted with high contrast accents of bright red, illuminated features to create landmarks throughout. The building is a bright, fun, playful place for the full range of occupants including children, parents, faculty, staff, administration, researchers, and clinicians. There’s no reason for schools for the deaf and the blind not to be full of color, movement, texture, and joy!


Awards: 2017 Honor Award, AIA Utah | 2018 Interior Division Winner, Vanceva World of Color Awards | 2016 Project of the Year K-12, Association of General Contractors of Utah | 2016 Most Outstanding K-12 Project, Utah Construction and Design

Size: 50,000 square feet

Budget: $14 million