FARMINGTON -- To say that VCBO Architecture enjoys working with Davis School District would be a huge understatement.
"They're the best client I've ever dreamed of," said Jeanne Jackson, a partner at VCBO in Salt Lake City.
"We've worked pretty hard to keep that client, and we've had to win the bids in all the jobs we've got."
VCBO has been responsible for the architecture of the last 11 schools the district has built, and the admiration is felt both ways.
"They've done a great job for us," said Gary Payne, Davis School District's administrator of facilities, management and planning.
VCBO has worked with the district on the two most-recent high schools, three junior high schools and six elementary schools, he said.
Each bid, Payne said, was awarded separately, as VCBO had to go through the official process of being selected by the committee that awards the bids.
"They're a very good firm. They're not the only good firm around, but we're very lucky to have that choice."
VCBO works with school districts all over the state, as well as in Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada, but Davis School District is unique, Jackson said.
"The most important thing is the fact that they value the child first in architecture innovation and the fact they look carefully at what the latest thought in education is and how a facility can help with that," she said.
"They don't spend more -- they actually spend less -- but get great facilities because they focus on important things."
With its work on Davis-area schools, VCBO has won several national awards, including the Learning by Designs 2011 Citation of Excellence for Endeavour Elementary School in Kaysville.
"That was my favorite project I ever worked on, and I've done this for 21 years," Jackson said of Endeavour.
Ellen Parrish, marketing director at VCBO, said she once received a phone call from her daughter who happened to be visiting Davis High School. Parrish said they live in the Salt Lake School District and this was her daughter's first time in a school in Davis County.
"She said, 'Mom, this is the coolest school,' " Parrish said. "Those are the kinds of testimonies that we hear from students and parents that are so inspirational."
VCBO has not stopped with just designing schools for Davis School District.
The district is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary, and VCBO held an in-house design contest to decorate the courtyard between the two school district buildings in Farmington for the celebration.
Jackson said 12 groups entered the contest and district officials had a difficult time deciding, so they selected three designs.
The officewide competition resulted in the idea of a bridge from the front door of the plaza into the courtyard, as well as a tree built of steel.
Hanging from the branches of the steel tree will be tags bearing the names, mascots and founding year of each school in the district.
Bronze tags will represent elementary schools, silver tags will represent junior high schools, and gold tags will represent the high schools.
Also, one of the buildings will be wrapped on the outside with pictures of students who have graduated in the last 100 years.
Jackson said helping VCBO's best client celebrate such a special occasion is only natural for the architectural firm.