Desert Canyons Elementary School
St. George, Utah
Washington County School District
St. George, Utah
55,650 sf

In August 2021, Desert Canyons Elementary School opened its doors to new futures for hundreds of little Aviators, who celebrated the completion of their new elementary school with an airplane flyover. The school’s ties to the aviation industry and southeast proximity to the St. George airport inspired the Aviator mascot, and the school’s design highlights this special relationship with aviation imagery and aesthetics tied in with colors that evoke Southern Utah’s trademark red desert landscape. The school’s arched entryway mimics the curvature of the surrounding dusty red hills from the outside, while from the inside, the roof’s structure overhead seems to echo the curved ceiling of an airplane hangar. Built of tilt-up concrete panels, Desert Canyons was designed as a prototype for the Washington School District and features centralized shared administration, a gym, a cafeteria, and media areas surrounded by classroom wings. Built to serve up to 800 students, the 55,650-square-foot, 25-classroom school was designed with ample room for growth – a must for the burgeoning Southern Utah community that lies just north of the Utah-Arizona border. Construction of the school began in April 2020 and was completed in June 2021. This resulted in a fresh, modern, and innovative educational facility designed for students to communicate new ideas; navigate new paths with confidence; and above all, aviate – and soar – to new heights.