George S. Eccles Student Life Center

Salt Lake City, UT
Construction Cost: $42 million
Area / Square Feet: 182,768
Occupancy Date: September 2014

Painted desert serenade
The George S. Eccles Student Life Center is a transformative project for the University of Utah. The campus setting at the base of the Wasatch Mountains provides stunning views, a resort-like feel and a unique indoor/outdoor swimming experience. There is a 50-meter training pool, an activity pool for water sports and classes, a large spa pool and an outdoor lounging pool. Other features include an aquatics sound and video system that allows for overhead music in the natatorium and in-pool movie nights.

Bringing the outdoors in
The facility design is inspired by its desert surroundings. The distinctive landscapes of Utah are truly built into the space with a color scheme of orange and red hues, and angular surfaces throughout the facility are a nod to desert rock formations. Wood paneling creates a warm, natural feel while the full-height glass windows show off the rich sandstone colors of the outdoors.

Built to last
The center hopes for a 50-year life expectancy, so pool systems are lasting, and design elements were specified with long-term maintenance in mind. High-quality products from local firms were selected, allowing equipment to be serviced locally, which will save on ongoing operational costs.

Certifications and sustainability
The project is on track to achieve LEED Silver certification. The design incorporates LED lighting, regenerative-media filtration, and high-efficiency dehumidification, water filtration and treatment systems, achieving greater than 24 percent reduction in energy consumption and 35 percent reduction in water use. Enhanced HVAC refrigerant-management techniques eliminate emissions that contribute to ozone depletion and global climate change.


• Indoor 50-meter lap pool with moveable bulkhead and ADA-accessible lifts

  • Indoor activity pool with zero-depth entry, a padded floor system, a dedicated shallow kids’ area, interactive water sprays, a bubble couch and an ADA-accessible lift
  • Indoor raised spa pool with multiple sitting nooks, hydrotherapy jet configurations and a 33-person capacity
  • Outdoor leisure pool with padded floor system, a lounge chair area, multilevel sitting benches, a volleyball apparatus and ADA-accessible lift


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