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Darien Elementary Schools Seek New Desks, Chairs

Darien school officials have identified hundreds of desks and chairs that need to be replaced soon.
Darien school officials have identified hundreds of desks and chairs that need to be replaced soon. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski, file

DARIEN, Conn. — The price tag would be about $67,580 to replace 538 desks and 290 chairs in the five Darien elementary schools, according to school officials.

The principals of the five schools had requested about $97,000 next year to replace furniture, including desks, chairs, cafeteria tables, bookshelves and other items. It would be the first time that Darien has replaced elementary school furniture in about five years.

The schools didn't have a clear inventory of what needed to be replaced, so Assistant Superintendent Judith Pandolfo and Technology and Data Coordinator Christina Hefele set out last week to visit the five schools. They inspected all of the desks and chairs and came up with a ranked list of items that needed to be replaced as soon as possible.

"Some of them are probably 40 to 50 years old. They're not deplorable or have big chunks hanging off or anything like that, but they're very old," Pandolfo said at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

Hindley and Royle Elementary Schools have the biggest need for new furniture. Of the requested funds, $28,716 would go to Royle to buy 255 desks and 81 chairs and $24,851 would go to Hindley to buy 182 desks and 132 chairs.

Many of the desks and chairs bought five years ago are not as high quality as some of the older pieces of furniture and will probably not last as long, Pandolfo said. She recommends that the schools buy more durable, longer-lasting furniture.

Pandolfo will visit the schools again and identify any other pieces of furniture, such as cafeteria tables, that should be replaced. She will bring that information before the Board of Education as it continues its budget discussions.

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