Some Schools in Darien Have Worse Desks, Chairs

When Darien school officials surveyed the condition of desks, chairs and other equipment in the town's five elementary schools, they found that two schools had much worse equipment than the others.

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 Replacing

School Grade Item Number

Cost per




Hindley 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.

Chris B. January 28, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Here is an idea: instead of replacing all the desks and chairs every 60 years, why not replace 20 to desks and chairs every year with quality merchandise?
Karen Brewer January 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM
the whole thing is shocking....shocking i say....
John January 28, 2013 at 11:13 PM
shocking?? wiki up Lincoln High in Brooklyn, typical example(ave X area)....and then Darien High, NC High..Rye High....Notable alum,,,It will blow you mind.....Money doesn't buy success...check it out...Hard work does....
Cath January 29, 2013 at 03:57 PM
what's really almost 40 years old are those trailers that they call classrooms (which are freezing) outside of royle school, in back...drive by and you'll see the 'shacks' that i'm talking about. Ridiculous. I'd rather have a crappy desk in a warm school then send my kid to learn in a crappy trailer that sits outside of a brick building.
sebastian dangerfield January 30, 2013 at 07:43 AM
jon I went to that high school. And when i grew up, brooklyn was a great place..... when you are looking up notable alumni, take notice that its just a couple of athletes lately. Prior to the last 40 years, there was a more diverse talent base.... your assumption that hard work is the key, is correct. Maybe we should start telling some of the riff-raff they should start to work ----i agree with you , jon.


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