Tooele Applied Technology College

Method Studio was retained to provide the programming and design for the new $12.5 million Tooele Applied Technology College. The facility will serve as Tooele Applied Technology College’s main campus and will include space for Health Care Technology Classrooms, Information Technologies, Manufacturing Technologies, Business Technologies, and Service Industry Technologies. Also included is space for community workshops, financial, counseling, placement, and student services, administration, and shared space with USU–Tooele Regional Campus to provide programs, a resource center, distance education, a library, and a bookstore. The 66,750 sq. ft. project is located on 8.43 acres of Utah State University – Tooele Regional Campus property.

The main function of the building is to teach students and stand as an icon of heritage, education and community. As an applied technology college, each area of the building is specialized; its construction was analogous to building a handful of separate facilities. From nursing to construction, each area had industry-specific requirements so that students could be trained on equipment unique to their profession. Finding an archetype that spoke to all of the different trades while maintaining cohesion and contextual relevance was a difficult task. This called for ongoing collaboration with faculty, designers and the Tooele community partners at large. The design team and steering committee spent several weeks focusing on the experiential and contextual meaning behind the building materials, building form and function. Natural lighting was abundant enough that during the daytime classes and shops had no need for artificial light. Because this building is for learning it was a strong desire by the client for the building to act as learning tool itself. Upon entry the first learning environment is a touch screen monitor that allows anyone to view the buildings mechanical and electrical usage through the real time Building Automation output diagrams. This monitor allows visitors to also learn about the sustainable design features of the building. In many spaces the ceilings were intentionally exposed to showcase mechanical, electrical and communications systems as student learning environments. The exterior building elements speak to the housed programs while maintaining contextual ties to the community. The use of exterior weathering steel metal panels speak to the welding, diesel, construction trades and industrial maintenance programs within while reflecting the communities strong mining, railroad, and industrial presence. The exterior board form concrete tilt panel walls also speak to the trade programs that are housed within while reflecting the strong local agricultural influence. The overall design and construction of the building energizes and engages the students and faculty while connecting them to community and their future work environments.

The college will work with local employers to tailor hands-on, market-driven technical training and certification for both secondary and adult students. By providing technical training that meets the needs of local businesses, the building will strengthen economic development in the area and create opportunities for locals.

IIDA MERIT Award for the LEARN category,  2014

ENR Mountain States, Best of Education, Honor Award, 2013

Tooele Applied Technology College
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