Update January 2021: Staff will move in during summer 2021, and the new building is projected to open in fall 2021. The school will be renamed the Jim Tangeman Center. 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 was originally known as Fir Grove Children’s Center, filling a gap in services for students with disabilities. He also served as the school’s first principal.
The building that houses Fir Grove/Vista was built almost 65 years ago and no longer serves the needs of the school’s students and staff. In 2017, recognizing that it was time to overhaul Fir Grove/Vista’s learning environment, local voters approved a bond measure for construction.
Since then, staff members and professional architects have worked together closely to design a new school.
Among the biggest changes is a new location. Fir Grove/Vista will be relocated from Falk Road to the corner of 18th Street and Norris Road, east of the GATE House. The campus will be enclosed by fencing.
Based on feedback from staff members that prioritized student choice, flexibility, community, sensory needs and safety, the new design contains features better suited to Fir Grove/Vista’s needs:
- Three elementary classrooms
- Two middle school classrooms
- Two high school classrooms
- Makerspace/flexible area to accommodate groups of all sizes
- Individual and small group rooms
- Commons/Family-Community Resource Center
- Media center
- Fitness area
- Two enclosed learning courtyards, one of which will contain a sensory garden
- Space for the school’s current garden
- Dedicated parking
- Ample room for students dropoff and pickup
VPS anticipates that construction will begin in early 2020 and end in late 2020. The district has not yet determined a plan for the current Fir Grove/Vista building.
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