The Dee Elementary School opened in the fall of 1970 at 550 22nd Street in Ogden, Utah. It was one of the city’s three new schools that followed an experimental “open space” concept. Its architectural design sought to promote synergistic learning with teaching pods arranged around a circular floor plan. Each pod was named for a planet, which contributed to the perception of the building as a large spaceship. Its first teachers, screened and chosen by the principal, received training in team teaching and individualistic learning.
Ogden native John L. Piers (1922-1997) designed the school. He received his degree from the University of Southern California before returning to Ogden where he practiced architecture for 35 years. His landmark designs include the Weber County Library, St. Benedict’s Hospital, and Weber High School.
Dee School’s open floor plan eventually proved to be unpopular, with later faculty adding bookshelves and partitions to create separate classrooms and reduce noise. It was demolished in 2016 to make way for the New Bridge School.
Here, you can listen to several audio recordings of experiences of Dee Elementary School.
These are oral histories told by various persons who were a part of Dee Elementary's enriching history as it stood in its time.
*Transcripts for interviews are available to download below the audio player.