Mahlum designed the Shoreline Early Learning Center, which brings together three remote school district pre-school programs in a single, centrally located, blended facility. The programs include a tuition-based pre-school, Head Start, and the Early Childhood Education program that serves students with developmental disabilities. The facility is designed to address the unique needs of the early learner with a focus on improving lives of preschoolers of all abilities through individualized, purposeful, play-based activities. In partnership with families, the Early Childhood team fosters growth in all areas of a child’s development.
The building form is a result of an emphasis on creating small communities within the larger school environment while providing opportunities for children, staff and parents to come together as a single group. The population of 450 children is broken down into four distinct learning clusters of six classrooms, each with a dedicated gross motor activity area and staff and student support spaces. The outdoor program includes a dedicated outdoor learning space for each pair of classrooms that highlights a natural and imaginative play experience. Additional play areas dotting the perimeter of the site are linked by a series of on-site trails and provide further options for large motor development as well as prospective views over the surrounding neighborhood.