Marysville Getchell Campus

Updated: July 2015


c copyright 2004-18

all rights reserved.

BrainSpaces, Inc.

856 N. Fairfield Avenue, Suite #1

Chicago, IL  60622

Ph:  773.531.3221


Marysville School District, Marysville, WA

In association with DLR Group & Architects of Achievement


James D. MacConnell Award!!


(watch the video HERE)


This project exemplifies one of the most incredible turnarounds in educational history. After a long teacher strike, low graduation rates, and school overcrowding after years of bond failures, the Marysville School District rallied around a new superintendent. With a focus on transforming student learning, the board adopted five Guiding Principles that served as benchmarks for education and the environments that support them. The result is an innovative and awarding-winning campus and, five years later, a 27% increase in graduation rates.



Set among second-growth trees, forest wetlands, and with sweeping mountain views, Marysville Getchell High is a new type of high school. Educational organizations are taking notice. Marysville Getchell is earning accolades by a variety of user groups for its innovative planning and unique learning environment.


The design enables great flexibility in the administration of student-focused learning. Responding to the District's adoption of a new, small learning community (SLC) model, the design arranges four, independent SLC buildings around a central community commons. Within each SLC building, a series of interconnected learning spaces support the educational approach described by the district's five guiding principles: relationships at the center, focused learning, identity and purpose, community, and accountability. Moveable walls and furniture allow learning spaces to be reconfigured to meet any instructional model now and in the future.


Set on 47 acres in Marysville, Washington, the “non-traditional, well-conceived” design earned the school one of six exemplary educational environment citations at the 2007 Exhibition of School Architecture held at the National School Board Association Conference in San Francisco. NSBA jurors praised the school’s “refreshing design, capable of adapting to changing specifics in educational program and curriculum needs by reexamining the core functionality of educational spaces, focusing entirely on student learning.”


The new 193,000+ square foot facility comprised of four buildings and is designed to support 1,600 students in grades 9-12.

The new Marysville Getchell High School Campus has sweeping wins in awards programs throughout the country.   Recognition to date includes:


· 2011 James D. MacConnell Award: CEFPI  (highest award given internationally)

· Grand Prize: National School Boards Association (highest award given nationally)

· Grand Prize: School Planning & Management (highest award given nationally)

· Polished Apple Award: Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Washington Chapter

· Award of Merit: AIA Committee on Architecture for Education

· Merit Award, Civic Design Award: AIA Washington Council