Pathfinder Kindergarten Center11401 Beverly Park Road
Everett, WA 98204
Design Achievement – Faced with a state mandate to instate full-day kindergarten and accommodate growing capacity demands, Mukilteo School District recently established its first kindergarten center at the Fairmount Elementary site. DLR Group’s design creates spaces to support early learning, while maximizing the potential synergies of age-specific students. In an effort to maximize learning, the school program was redefined to eliminate time lost to transitions. Teachers and specialists move into the classrooms, allowing the students to stay in their respective pods. Larger programs that require more space, such as dining and project areas, are broken down into smaller spaces and dispersed into the pods. Given its significant effect on learning, indoor environmental quality received diligent design attention, including temperature, air quality, daylighting, and acoustics. With the kindergarten students spending a lot of time learning on the floor, heat is provided by radiant floors sourced from a geothermal ground-source heat pump.
Scope Summary – With a total of 65,000 SF, the 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 and maximize 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 the young learners. DLR Group provided architecture, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, and interior design services.
Did You Know?
When compared to traditional early education learning environments, where students move to the services they need, Pathfinder reduces transition times by 60 percent. Over the course of one year, that gives students nearly one additional week of learning time.