Clipper Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — Many teens head off to a job or a campus after completing high school, and now even those with special needs will have the chance to experience something similar, with the completion of the Vista Education Campus.
“As a parent, I am thrilled,” said Roz Welch, who also serves as a parent consultant for the Utah Parent Center. “It says to me that this school district is willing to invest in the future of these young adults. We have a building created for each of the different needs of our students.”
School leaders and students cut the ribbon to open the school last week. Already, the school has been in use for a year, though partially complete.
It includes apartment-like spaces, kitchens, a store and other spaces where students can be trained for future employment.
“We’ve waited a long time for this,” said Bryan Bowles, superintendent. “It’s unlike any school, not only in Utah, but – I have to say – anywhere in our nation. It’s specifically designed for these students. This is what Davis County is all about.”
School board president Tamara Lowe said the true beauty in the building isn’t about the bricks and mortar, but in the students and their accomplishments, the staff members who take care of and teach them and the parents who support them and care for them.
It took 30,000 tons of rocks, 3,675 yards of concrete, 385 tons of structural steel, 120,000 linear feet of metal studs and 300,000 feet of electrical wire to complete the building. according to Bowles.
“It’s not just that structural part that makes it alive,” he said, “you make it alive. It’s not just a school in that building.”
Brian Parker, of MHTN Architects, said it is evident how student-centered this facility is.
“It’s completely beyond what’s ever been conceived,” he said. “It helps to elevate what a school can be.”
Teachers are also pleased with the completed building, as are students.
“The space is going to help us individualize the education of students in need as they’re transitioning to adult roles,” said Roger Call, a teacher.
C.J. Weaver, 21, a student at Vista, also sees the value of the facility and those who work inside.
“I like it,” he said. “They help you find a job.”