Among the must-see items in the new school are the Fitness Center, a new school store, The Point, and the Media Center with its unobstructed view of the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island.
Within the Media Center is a conference room which will be a permanent home for the newly created David High School Alumni Association, a place where former students can browse through school yearbooks and meet together to reminisce. In the future, trophy and memorabilia cases will be added at various places around the school to help current Davis High Darts remember past glories and traditions of their academic forebears.
Gone are myriad portables and the old campus which served and housed students for 90 years. In their place is one building, nearly two-and-a-half football fields in length.
"It's bigger and more organized. It's a different atmosphere and nice to have a new school and to start out fresh," said Tara, a 16-year-old junior who appreciates having all her classes under one roof.
The new Fitness Center is a resource, not just for athletes, but also for any student taking a gym class.
Tara, who plays volleyball and runs track, is thrilled with the new center.
"The Fitness Center has so many machines: treadmills, weight lifting and other equipment--things you wouldn't think would be in a high school," she said. She's also excited about the indoor track which will all but eliminate those winter runs outside. "That's a plus," Tara adds.
But not all the changes are inside. Tanner, a junior who plays on the Varsity football squad especially likes the improved stadium and being able to run out onto the field through the tunnel under the new west-side bleachers.
"It feels like it's real time, not like last year when we came running onto the field from the parking lot," he said.
Climate and traffic controls
Principal Rulon Homer is equally pleased with the new school.
"I think it's wonderful. It's a beautiful facility," said Homer. "The (new) air-conditioning system helps maintain a constant temperature. The teachers are so much more refreshed and vibrant."
Although there are 2,300 students at DHS this year, the new design and arrangement of the classrooms evenly distributes these students throughout the building.
"You'd never realize you have that many kids here," said Homer. But as anyone who has ever built a new home knows, there are bound to be challenges at the new facility; that's to be expected. Not everything has turned out the way students and faculty had hoped.
- The new one-lunch schedule, down from two separate lunch periods, means a quick bite for many students, as cafeteria workers service the entire student body in just 48 minutes.
- The five-minute breaks between classes don't feel long enough for some students.
The single-building campus may put classes closer together, but there are more students navigating the corridors at the same time.
- Until the front parking lot is finished in December, finding a prime spot will continue to be a daily headache for many students.
- Juniors and seniors who were familiar with the old school, now feel like sophomores all over again as they find their way around the new complex.
But little by little, the kinks and anomalies are being worked out as the next generation of Davis Darts settles into their new home.