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Pathfinder Kindergarten Center students on a playground in front of a building with dark bricks below a wood panel 2nd floor
Pathfinder Kindergarten Center

Creating More Time for More Learning


Mulkiteo School District No. 6

Project Location

Everett, WA


65,000 SF



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. Our 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.

Supporting Early Learning

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%. Over the course of one year, that gives students nearly one additional week of learning time.

Design and Education Awards

2020 Project of Distinction (LEsolutions Planning & Design Awards)

Association for Learning Environments

2019 James D. MacConnell Award Finalist

Association for Learning Environments

2019 Crow Island School Citation

American School + University magazine

2019 Honorable Mention

Association for Learning Environments

2019 Polished Apple Award

Association for Learning Environments

2018 Citation of Excellence

Learning by Design Magazine

2016 "Architecture Looking Ahead" Exhibit

University of Washington

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