Helper Middle School Addition and Renovation
Helper, Utah
Carbon School District
Helper, Utah
57,936 sf

Helper, Utah is a place like no other. The small coal mining town has an otherworldly presence, from its charming ghost town main street that evokes a picturesque, abandoned film set, to the still-operating railroad that hauls coal through town. With its flourishing art community, coupled with charming storefronts, vintage automobiles, staggering natural features, and painstakingly renovated historical buildings converted into vacation rental properties, it’s a city that needs no help in terms of intrigue and arresting beauty. The town’s aging middle school, however, needed a bit of an upgrade, and NWL met the challenge with a successful addition and renovation to the school. Home of the Rams, Helper Middle School sits atop the town’s west bench, just up from the city’s long stretch of historical steps that lead up from the Price River. NWL was able to preserve the much-valued historical school building while implementing a successful modernized addition and remodel that better serves the needs of students, faculty, and community. The project included an addition of 35,405 square feet to the building and a renovation of 22,531 square feet. The school’s roof and floor structure received a seismic upgrade, while the mechanical and electrical systems were overhauled. The school’s drop-off area was also updated, providing a more efficient, safe pick-up and drop-off process for students and parents. New office space, classrooms, and common areas were also added, fitted with upgraded interiors that reflect the pride of the Rams, with visually inspiring wall graphics and dramatic concrete learning stairs that mimic the area's stunning buttes. The revamped Rams headquarters is undoubtedly an educational triumph for Helper Middle School students, faculty, and the Helper community at large.