During a post-project interview, our client, the Washburn Center for Children, was asked “Is there any aspect of your experience with TCI that you did not expect?”
They highlighted two words in their answer, the first being trust. The client had no previous experience with us, but, like many clients, they put their trust in us to do what we said we would do. And they enthusiastically confirmed that we rewarded that trust with outstanding performance.
The second word was heart. We had never heard that word used by a client to describe our work. They were literally stunned, not just by our expertise in delivering a great furniture project, but our commitment as a true partner in achieving the transformation their new building will bring to their staff and their clients.
PROJECT OVERVIEW: Washburn Center for Children
The project started in the Fall of 2013 and occupancy was November, 2014. The three story building was designed to facilitate the mental health care of young children. There are five classrooms, a gym, training room, boardroom, break room, meeting rooms and many private offices for the administration, counselors and physicians.
All the carpets and wall finishes were selected by the architect LSE. A subdued color palette was chosen to complement the treatment protocol. The furniture selections’ driving factors were comfort, function, durability, overall quality and manufacturer warranty. The array of products included Steelcase Payback, Amia ,Jenny, and Coalesse. Also, Nucraft, Versteel, Fixtures, Tenjam, Workrite, Artifex Millwork, plus other vendors, were used to meet the classrooms’ needs ( tables, chairs, rugs, storage and toys).
Washburn works with children from all social economic backgrounds, and the new space provides a very welcoming and uninhibited atmosphere. They now have a high functioning building customized to their needs, which better serves the children and employees. The Washburn team was fantastic to work with every step of the way. Target Commercial Interiors was fortunate to work side-by-side with Washburn on this well-needed and important project.
~ MaryBeth Johnson, Account Manager
In this video, we interview Steve Lepinski, Executive Director, and Don Shelby, Capital Campaign Chair, from the Washburn Center for Children. They describe their experience with us, and what it meant for us to have our hearts in this project.
Steve: You know, when we started this project, and thinking about the furniture, and this building, the furnishings obviously was going to be an important part of it, and our concept was that the whole building would support the therapeutic work that we did.
Don: We had never done anything from scratch, so we really didn’t know what we were going to do. But, with Beth and MaryBeth, and the team at TCI, we were led to something beyond our imagination. Far beyond what we had a right to expect. And so, it was a wonderful experience to be able to see how clear their vision was for this, and how well they worked with the architects.
Steve: And we wanted to use the furniture to, to create part of that environment. To help people feel good, the children and the families that came here, to help our staff, who had to live in this building every day.
Don: The furniture is certainly for the benefit of the clients, and their families. But it is as much a benefit for the people who must work here every day, who consider this their home, and that was taken into consideration by TCI. And, one of the greatest messages that I heard during the [grand] opening, was the tears in the eyes of the staff members who came and said, You did this for us. And this feels like home.
Steve: We often said in our old building, that we did really good work. But it was in spite of our facility. And here, really, the facility, the whole facility, everything in the facility really contributes to the therapeutic work that we’re trying to do. You know, from walking into the lobby, where people feel welcome and warm, and [there’s] a lot of light. And then as people go into the offices or go into meeting rooms, there is just that very positive feeling for the clients. And, then as Don has said, really also for the staff. And so, the building, if you will, is a part of the therapy now. And especially in our classrooms, where we have some of our most intensive programs. And the rooms were really designed, and then equipped and furnished and built, to have everything we need to do in that program.
Don: We didn’t know anything about how to make a place, by virtue of the things that furnish it, a better place. But, TCI knew that. They understood the mission so well. And, the heart that TCI showed, was something that I think is necessary to touch on. They were fully involved, every member of the team at TCI was fully involved. [They] fully got the idea of what the Washburn Center for Children was about. What its mission was, who the clientele was going to be, who the staff were. [They] met with people over and over, and got the idea. These are the perfect pieces, this is the perfect expression. And we listened to them. We trusted TCI. And, it’s a good thing we did. Because, TCI delivered a magnificent product to us. And [they] did it as full partners in this charitable campaign.
Steve: We were just really, really excited and pleased as we worked with TCI. The ideas they had, the time they took, the things they walked us through. Because, this is really a first chance, a first time that we’ve done anything like this. As people walk in and as they work in their office, I think the thing we hear a lot is just, Wow. Wow.
Don: One of the children who first came on a tour, before the grand opening, looked around and saw this place and its furniture and said, “This is my new happy place.” And that is the goal of the Washburn Center for Children.