Challenger and Horizon Elementary schools get new additions to facilities

MUKILTEO, Wash., January 24, 2023—Both Challenger and Horizon Elementary Schools are getting new additions to their facilities later this year, adding 59,500 square feet to Challenger and a whopping 92,500 square feet to Horizon! As part of these additions, both schools, located just one mile away from each other, will receive new gym spaces, remodels or additions to their kitchens, music rooms, boiler rooms and related support spaces. 

Back in February of 2020, the Mukilteo School District was fortunate enough to pass a Capital Bond totaling $240 million, of which $160 million was allocated for major modifications and additions at its schools. This was an incredible achievement for the district considering bonds require more than a 60% vote – which many schools in the region have struggled with acquiring – unlike a levy which only requires a 50% vote. 

“We were very grateful it passed,” said Diane Bradford, Director of Communications for Mukilteo School District

A Capitol Bonds Advisory Committee, made up of community members, staff, and student families, addressed the needs of several schools, district-wide. Among those were needs for more common area space especially at schools where enrollment had grown significantly and several portables had been sited. Challenger has 11 portables and only one multi-purpose space which is used for both Physical Education and lunch/cafeteria. The committee found the school needed the addition of the gym to support the number of students and their instructional needs, Bradford said. 

mukilteo schools
The Challenger Elementary School addition and renovation well underway because of voter-approved 2020 Capital Bond. SOURCE: Mukilteo School District.
mukilteo schools
The Challenger Elementary School addition and renovation well underway because of voter-approved 2020 Capital Bond. SOURCE: Mukilteo School District.

After assessing the needs of schools in the district, the Committee then prioritized all of the potential projects into a set of recommendations made to Dr. Alison Brynelson, Superintendent for Mukilteo School District, before being approved by the School Board. The Challenger and Horizon projects were among these approved projects. 

The additions are scheduled to complete in August, 2023. Dykeman Architecture and Design was the winning-bid architecture firm and Cornerstone General Contractors signed on as General Contractors. Both were selected through a bid and review process contingent to Washington State law (RCW 30.80) and Board Policy (9231). 

While the construction is underway, often during school hours, Bradford informed the Lynnwood Times the district has had very few specific issues or complaints about it distracting student learning. However, the district does acknowledge having active construction going on while school is in session may pose inconvenient to some.  

“Our contractors are highly skilled in mitigating those impacts and we work with them and the school on any specific issues that arise,” said Bradford

Discovery Elementary, also in the Mukilteo School District, recently received a new addition to its facility that was completed in September of 2022, which consists of a new, 28,700 square foot, two-story segment adding 16 classrooms, two instruction labs, staff offices, restrooms, and associated building support space. Discovery Elementary is 48,951 square feet and has 10 portable classrooms.

mukilteo schools
The Discovery Elementary School addition and renovation well underway because of voter-approved 2020 Capital Bond. SOURCE: Mukilteo School District.
mukilteo schools
The Discovery Elementary School addition and renovation well underway because of voter-approved 2020 Capital Bond. SOURCE: Mukilteo School District.

Mariner High School, Mukilteo Elementary, and Serene Lake Elementary will also schedule for expansions in the upcoming years. 

The project at Mariner High School includes demolition of the current library and counseling center, and the addition of a new two-story student center, library, student store, counseling, career center and three (3) flex classrooms totaling approximately 27,000 square feet. The addition, located at the center of the campus, is organized around a new two-story student common. The project is currently in the construction documents design phase. Bidding is scheduled to take place in the Fall 2022 and construction will begin June 2023. The project is scheduled for completion in August 2024.

The Mukilteo Elementary School project will include a master plan for an entire school replacement with additional capacity and will determine what portion of the school can be replaced in Phase I as part of the 2020 Bond project. The district anticipates construction starting in Summer 2024 and completion in Fall 2025.

The Serene Lake Elementary project will include a master plan for an entire school replacement with additional capacity and will determine what portion of the school can be replaced in Phase I as part of the 2020 Bond project. The district anticipates construction starting in Summer 2024 and completion in Fall 2025.

Kienan Briscoe

Kienan Briscoe is a 9-time award winning journalist who has worked for a variety of publications including Pulitzer Prize-finalist Puget Sound Business Journal, Sound Publishing, Game Rant, and the University of Washington's newsroom. Before making the leap to news reporting he worked as a freelance writer in New York City. He holds a degree in Journalism from Arizona State University. Journalism, to him, is one of the most important tools for informing the public and holding governments accountable to the people. When he is not reporting he enjoys writing fiction and poetry (author of three novels), playing guitar, reading classic literature, and getting outdoors.

Kienan Briscoe has 349 posts and counting. See all posts by Kienan Briscoe

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