Two Darien school officials surveyed all of the desks, chairs and some other equipment at each of the town's five elementary schools and found that some schools have far more worn equipment than others.
Hindley and Royle schools had, by far, the most desks and chairs that were older and more worn than those in Ox Ridge, Holmes or Tokeneke, said one of the officials, Judith Pandolfo, assistant superintendent for elementary education.
School officials are recommending just over $67,000 to replace old, worn desks and chairs in the town's elementary schools.
"Some of the chairs and desks that are out there are probably 40 to 50 years old," Pandolfo told the Board of Education at the board's regular meeting last week. "They're really not broken—they just look worn [...] and dirty."
Yet some of the older furniture has held up better than newer, cheaper products that were bought more recently, she said.
Pandolfo is recommending somewhat pricier but sturdier desks and chairs with steel rather than aluminum legs and solid tops rather than tops that are laminated.
Desks and Chairs Proposed for ReplacingSchool Grade Item Number
CostHindley 1 desks 48 $93.96 1 chairs 24 $58.72 2 desks 26 $93.96 4 & 5 desks 108 $93.96 4 & 5 chairs 108 $58.72 Total 314 $24,851.76 Holmes 1 desks 48 $93.96 1 chairs 24 $58.72 Total 72 $5,919.36 Ox Ridge 3 desks 26 $93.96 3 chairs 26 $58.72 Total 52 $3,969.68 Royle 4 & 5 desks 81 $93.96 4 & 5 chairs 81 $58.72 2 & 3 desks 78 $93.96 1 desks 96 $93.96 Total 336 $28,716.12 Tokeneke 4 desks 27 $93.96 4 chairs 27 $58.72 Total 54 $4,122.36 TOTAL COST $67,579.28
She told the board she would also make recommendations for replacing some other furniture items, such as cafeteria tables.
Board of Education Chairperson Elizabeth "Betsy" Hagerty-Ross thanked Pandolfo and Christine Hefele, technology and data co-ordinator for Darien Public Schools for doing the survey of every desk, chair and major piece of school furniture in all five schools. The two officials rated each piece of furniture on a scale.
Pandolfo said that she could have asked individual school principals to conduct the survey at their own schools, but wanted the same people evaluating all the furniture.
Hagerty-Ross agreed, adding that it was important to have the same individuals looking at the furniture in order to get a fair comparison between schools.
Editor's note: For a completely different kind of desk in the possession of one school district, see this article about the Abraham Lincoln desk in Teaneck, NJ public schools.