A Modern Education Model–Roy High School

The construction of Roy High School cost $2.6 million. A Ford Foundation Grant contributed to the multimillion dollar building’s financing. To promote team teaching, removable walls were used in the interior design of spaces and in classroom layout. With the construction of Roy High, six-ton river rock walls were first used in Utah.


When Hill AFB was established, the surrounding area soon filled with homes and families. The education facilities could no longer keep up, and the high school kids were bussed from Roy to Weber High (located at 12th and Washington Blvd. in Ogden). Weber School District sought funding to accommodate the community.

Skyline Construction (no longer in business) was selected to construct the 164,000 square ft, 2.6-million-dollar building. On January 6th, 1964, they broke ground. The building was designed by architect Keith W. Wilcox. The exterior walls were an economic design, made of smooth river rock embedded in a cement/sand mixture. The exterior wall panels weighed 6 tons and ranged from 12 to 16 feet in height, and there were 360 of them installed. The design concept of exterior rock walls was first used in Utah with the building of Roy High School.

Roy High School Design Architect
Keith W. Wilcox

The multi-million-dollar building was funded, in part, by a Ford Foundation Grant. The grant was awarded because the programming would not fit the traditional high school model. More than 20 consultants and educators worked on a modern education model for the students. It was innovative in that it promoted students to spend time on subjects that interested them, rather that the traditional subjects. The ideas of modern education included team teaching, educational television, and teaching machines. Interior spaces and classroom design included removable walls to encourage team teaching. When the school opened there were 24 periods, and some classes were only 18 minutes long.

The 6-ton river rock wall panels being installed
Photo Courtesy of Standard Examiner

The school officially opened to students and teachers on August 30th of 1965 and had an attending student body of 1,350. Once completed, Roy High School was the largest high school in Weber County. Eventually, the programming reverted to a more traditional style. What makes Roy High unique is the intent it was built with, from the economical exterior walls to the interior design that promoted out-of-the-box educational teaching. Roy High School was and still is an integral part of the community it serves.

One comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.