Pathfinder Kindergarten Center

Design Achievement – Faced with a State mandate to instate full-day kindergarten and accommodate growing capacity demands, Mukilteo School District recently created their first Kindergarten Center at the Fairmount Elementary site. DLR Group’s resulting design creates spaces to support early learning, while maximizing the potential provided by the synergy of age-specific students. In an effort to maximize learning, the school program was redefined to eliminate time lost to transitions. Teachers and specialists push into the classrooms, allowing the students to stay in their respective pods. Larger programs that require more space (e.g. dining and project areas) are broken down into smaller spaces and dispersed into the pods. Given its significant effect on learning, indoor environmental quality has required diligent attention, including temperature, air quality, daylighting, and acoustics. With the kindergarten students spending a lot of time learning on the floor, heat is provided from radiant floors (heated by a geothermal ground source heat pump).

Scope Summary – With a total of 65,000 SF, Pathfinder Kindergarten Center serves approximately 600 students. The site is constrained by limited access, an existing elementary building, and a protected wetland along the eastern edge. The buildable land area for the new school was very limited, requiring the design team to minimize the building footprint, while maximizing access to outdoor amenities. Emphasis on connection to nature and outdoor learning is accomplished through adjacent play areas, daylight, and operable windows to provide experiential connections for these young learners. DLR Group provided architecture, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, and interior design services.

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Pathfinder Kindergarten Center

Mukilteo School District No. 6