Award Winner - May 2009
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Dream Big

South Davis Recreation Center
Bountiful, Utah

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

VCBO Architecture
in Salt Lake City

Size: 183,000 square feet

Project Cost: $23 million

Quick Tour:
Recreation Area:

  • Olympic-size ice rink
  • Competition gymnasium
  • Multipurpose activity court
  • Fitness/cardio area
  • Exercise studio
  • Five racquetball courts
  • Bouldering cave
  • Two party rooms
  • Two suspended walking/jogging tracks
  • Stretch 25-meter competition pool
  • 1- and 3-meter diving
  • Indoor 7,000-square-foot leisure pool with four-lane 25-yard lap pool
  • Zero-degree-entry splash pad
  • Outdoor leisure pool/splash pad
  • Concessions
  • Community meeting rooms


he new South Davis Recreation Center showcases what can happen when separate entities choose to forego their separate plans and collaborate to bring a "dream" to life.

The project was initiated by Bountiful City to replace an aging, inadequate public recreation facility that was operated in collaboration with the Davis County School District. A feasibility study indicated that the public had a strong desire for an updated facility. Other area municipalities were keeping a close eye on the project, and early in the planning process, community leaders from North Salt Lake, West Bountiful, Centerville and Woods Cross offered to combine their money and resources with Bountiful and the South Davis School District to create a more impressive facility than any of them could build alone. The entities joined to create the South Davis Recreation District for the purpose.

The resulting South Davis Recreation Center stands as a monument to their commitment to collaboration. At its opening, the facility was the largest of its kind in the state of Utah.

The facility's exterior reflects the mountain backdrop. This rhythm is repeated throughout, with views of the Wasatch Range from the ice rink and running track, as well as soaring angles and lines in the building's design.

Inside, the center offers a multitude of opportunities for recreation. The main gym replaced an outdated National Guard Armory that had been used as a junior high school gym. It seats nearly 900 and in addition to serving the school, is used after hours. The multipurpose activity court allows for a wider variety of uses than the typical wood-floored court. A bouldering cave offers a popular variation on the climbing wall, proving fun and fitness without requiring specially trained staff to operate and supervise.

The Ice Center features a rink that meets Olympic standards and seating for 650. The cardio/fitness area is inviting and open, and two walking/jogging tracks give patrons a choice of walking over the lobby area or watching activities in the gym below.

The Viewmont High School swim team has found a new home in the indoor competition pool, which is the flagship aquatic facility for the Davis County School District. It hosts competitive events and team practices, as well as recreational activities. A separate recreational natatorium features a waterslide, current channel and zero-depth-entry splash play area with interactive water features. This area also includes four 25-meter lap lanes so patrons can get in a workout even if the competition pool is being used for other activities.

A recreational hub for the entire community, the South Davis Recreation Center is a model for municipalities and organizations looking for ways to get more bang for their recreational bucks.


W H A T   T H E   J U D G E S   S A I D

Great building form and massing, especially at the entry.

Colleen McKenna

A S S O C I A T E D    F I R M S

Structural Engineer:

ARW Engineers

Mechanical Engineer:

Van Boerum & Frank

Electrical Engineer:


Aquatic Consultant:

Water Design Inc.

General Contractor:

Hogan & Associates

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