Murray High School
Murray, Utah
Murray City School District
Murray, Utah
280,000 sf

It is perhaps a little-known fact that the Murray High School Spartans were once known as the Smelterites – an odd-sounding but true-to-life name that paid homage to the smelters employed by the nearby American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO), a major industry presence in South Salt Lake in the 1930s and 40s and sponsor of Murray High’s basketball games. The humble Smelterite mascot was replaced with the Spartan in 1952, but no matter the mascot, Murray High remains legendary.  

Murray High School was originally built in 1911 as Hillcrest School and was renamed Murray High School a few years later. In 1954, the school was rebuilt on the west side of State Street, and nearly 50 years later, NWL designed a replacement school for Murray School District. In 2003, the new Murray High School was born.

The three-story, 280,000-square-foot school’s economic design maximizes green space for physical education while remaining cost-effective – both priorities for the district. Load-bearing concrete masonry and a steel frame comprise the bones of the school, while cost-efficient metal skin and tinted blue glass provide aesthetically dynamic contrast to striking red masonry exteriors. Durable, low-maintenance finishes and materials comprise the school’s interiors, including colored and polished concrete floors that stand up well to heavy daily traffic. Each classroom is heated and cooled by individual classroom heat pumps, giving teachers individual control of their rooms and maximizing heating and cooling efficiency for the school. As of 2024, the award-winning high school accommodates approximately 1,500 students, equipping each Spartan with all the necessary tools for a bright future.


2005 Public School Project of the Year - AGC of Utah 2005 Excellence in Masonry - Utah Masonry Council 2005 Merit Award - Sustainable Design - AIA Utah 2005 International Illumination Design Award - IID Utah Chapter 2004 Best Interior/Lighting Design Project - Auditorium - Intermountain Contractor 2004 Edwin F. Guth Award of Excellence - Illumination Engineering Society of North America