Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Release
Dedication of new Jim Tangeman Center set for Sept. 29 - 09/24/21

The community is invited to see the new Jim Tangeman Center, a program that serves approximately 50 students with special needs in kindergarten through 12th grade. The new building, which replaced Fir Grove Children’s Center, opened to students on Aug. 31. Tangeman Center was constructed with funds from a 2017 local bond measure.  


  • Time: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m. 
  • Location: 3200 E 18th St., Vancouver, WA 98661
  • A short program will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include remarks by Principal Jeremy Berliss, Executive Director Daniel Bettis, Superintendent Jeff Snell and VPS Board President Kyle Sproul. 
  • After a ribbon-cutting, guests will enjoy self-guided tours from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
  • Please note: Face coverings are required. 


  • Architect: LSW Architects
  • General contractor: Tapani Construction
  • Building square footage: Approximately 22,600
  • Building features: Seven classrooms, makerspace, Family-Community Resource Center/commons, learning courtyards, garden

Timeline of planning and construction

  • December 2016: Teachers and staff attend a design symposium with architects to develop conceptual designs for a new building.
  • February 2017: Voters approve a $458 million bond measure to rebuild and upgrade schools.
  • 2017-2018: Teachers and staff participate in planning the architectural details of the new building.
  • February 2020: Groundbreaking ceremony. Construction begins shortly afterward.
  • August 2021: Teachers and staff move into the new building.
  • Aug. 31, 2021: School opens to all students.

About Dr. Jim Tangeman

The late Dr. Tangeman was a respected, longtime VPS administrator and advocate for students with special needs and their families. Among his many accomplishments in the district and community, Dr. Tangeman drove the opening of what originally was known as Fir Grove Children’s Center, filling a gap in services for students with special needs. He also served as the school’s first principal. Tina Henry, a retired VPS special education teacher and community member, suggested the name. She noted that Tangeman “tirelessly solicited support for [Fir Grove] students after his retirement.”

For more information about bond construction projects, subscribe to our e-newsletter or visit our website.

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