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Schools downtown digs to get $91,359 worth of furniture

July 28, 2010 - After nearly a month-and-a-half of deliberation, the Oxford Community School's Board of Education voted to approve two furniture recommendations for the new district board office on 10 N. Washington on July 12.

By a vote of 4-2, the district approved the $37,016.66 bid from Kerr Albert Office Supply. Casting a vote of nay were trustees Robert Martin and Mary Stein, while trustee Kim Shumaker was absent.

The board also voted 5-1 to approve a furniture reconfiguration proposal from E-quip, a company based out of Alto, MI, of $44,953.74.

Stein voted against the proposal because she was concerned they were not reusing enough of the old office furniture.

"I don't understand why we are not reusing more because we are on the front end of this bond and I am concerned when we get to the latter end," Stein said.

"I am not understanding things like chairs...I want to know more about reusing because that is something we could do without for now and use existing chairs and see where we are at," Stein continued.

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Tim Loock said that after Interior Design Society laid out all of the furniture the district was moving, the chairs were necessary to fill spaces.

The district will also spend an estimated $5,000 on appliances and $4,004 to move a high density storage unit from the old building to the new one.

Loock said the $5,000 was a very conservative estimate and the district has not spent any of the allotted money for appliances.

"By that I mean we won't spend that much, but in order for a budget standpoint to be conservative, they plug in a number to cover whatever the appliances are needed to finish equipping the two areas," Loock said.

Overall, the district will be spending $91,359.30 on furniture for the board office.

Most of the furniture that is being purchased from Kerr Albert is going to be used to equip two professional development rooms and be put into the board meeting rooms, according to Loock.

"We have more training room spaces in our new building than we had in our old building, hence the need to purchase the tables and chairs to equip those rooms," Loock said.

According to Loock, most of the furniture is coming over from the boardroom.

"All of the work stations and office furniture that were used by the staff, most of the tables that were in the training room are coming over," Loock said.

In addition, all of the chairs in the training room and audience seating area in the board room are coming over, as well as the chairs the board members used in the board office meeting room.

The initial bid from Kerr Albert was $66,401.56, but the district decided to push for something cheaper due to some of the concerns that were raised at previous board meetings.

They were able to save $28,628.41 after deciding to reuse training room chairs, tables and boardroom chairs. They also defered purchasing new stackable chairs for the boardroom, clocks, wastebaskets and two guest chairs and a occasional table for administrative waiting.

The proposal from E-quip is for parts and pieces for the furniture they are bringing over.

"They sell and install furniture and they are the designated dealer for Interior Concepts in this part of the world," he said.

Loock went on to explain that Interior Concepts is custom, not off the shelf furniture.

"Interior Concepts is a manufacture and they design and build furniture to fit into spaces," Loock said. "They were the ones we had done the previous board office with and in order to equip the new building, additional parts and surfaces have to be purchased in order to make all the spaces function properly."

When asked when the furniture would be installed, Loock indicated that the bond schedule showed it would go in about the third week of September.

"The building renovations should be substantiality complete right before that, so we are trying to time the furniture purchases and deliveries to coincide with the completion of the renovation so we don't lose time and have the building sitting there unoccupied," Loock said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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