Davey Jackson Elementary School

Jackson, Wyoming

Davey Jackson Elementary School has all the high-performance flair and sensibility of its namesake, a hard-nosed early-19th-century fur trapper to whom the town of Jackson, Wyo., owes its name as well. Teton County School District #1 selected the architects to plan a new K-2, 500-student school on its existing downtown campus. Jackson is a progressive, vibrant community ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMThe Durrant Group, Inc.CAPACITY500COST PER SQ FT$277.32FEATURED IN2007 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYWork in Progress to sustainable design, and voted to tax itself with a special-purpose excise tax to fund additional program space for a high school-sized gymnasium and LEED silver certification.

The existing 11-acre site has been planned efficiently to phase the new construction with demolition of an administration building, a junior high school and the removal of an elementary school. The new facility is planned to use high levels of daylighting and high-efficiency boilers with in-floor heating, plus energy-recovery units. In a unique planning process, the team reached consensus with both the district and the state, which funds all school construction, to modify the state’s program to meet district needs. The school will have a direct physical connection with the adjacent Teton Recreation Center, making excellent, mutually beneficial use of both facilities for the good of the children and other community members.

The plan makes sense of a busy vehicular confluence of streets and is organized around the hub of the commons, with ease of access to music, recreation, the media center, art and other quiet classroom areas. It is not by coincidence that the commons overlooks the beautiful wild expanse of the National Elk Refuge, another shared benefit of the site planning. The two-story massing saves valuable site area, and there are numerous outdoor areas for educational opportunities. The sustainable features of this LEED silver building also are treated as part of the curriculum.