Located in Vancouver, WA, the Jim Tangeman Center offers a learning environment for kids with special needs aged K-12. Turning a 5.17 acre abandoned parking lot into a life-long tribute to Jim Tangeman, this center was specially designed to accommodate certain behavioral and emotional needs that go beyond the scope of special services available at surrounding neighborhood schools. A 22,600 square foot, single level building, the Center has nine classrooms, a dining commons with a commercial warming kitchen, administrative office space, media space, fitness space, bathrooms, and a family community resource center. Site work for the facility included demolition of the existing parking lot, construction of a new parking lot, waste enclosures, multiple play areas, a covered play structure, an exterior garden courtyard, exterior patios, nature play area, and a traditional playground.
Providing a more inviting and responsive learning environment, the center was designed with quiet rooms located in each hallway, special textures & paneling on the walls for sensory stimulation, interactive and calming paint colors and shapes used throughout the school, and the use of natural and soft lighting to create an open and relaxing atmosphere. Some of the unique products integrated were the circular lighting hung in the commons room to add soft and natural light; the flush Nichiha siding on the exterior of the building creating a blue patched pattern; specialty metal fencing with natural designs in the play area, and textured wall paneling down the hallways to assist with physical sensory overload.