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Pathfinder Kindergarten Center

Creating More Time for More Learning

Client

Mulkiteo School District No. 6

Project Location

Everett, WA

Area

65,000 SF

Students

600

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.

Awards

2019 James D. MacConnell Award Finalist

A4LE

2019 Crow Island School Citation

American School & University magazine

2018 Citation of Excellence

Learning by Design Magazine

2016 "Architecture Looking Ahead" Exhibit

University of Washington

Press

Pathfinder Kindergarten Center in Everett, WA Photo by Chris Roberts
Hechinger Report

How Play is Making a Comeback in Kindergarten

February 9, 2020

Originally intended to ease overcrowding in local schools, the Pathfinder Kindergarten Center, located about 25 miles north of Seattle in the Mukilteo School District, is a haven for its 545 kindergarteners. The $26-million school opened in 2017 with a central goal: to make kindergarten here more playful and joyful.

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