BU Furniture Donation Helps Local School


Lockers donated by BU at Lynn Classical High School.

Every summer, Facilities Management & Planning (FM&P) takes advantage of having a quieter-than-normal campus by working to make upgrades and improvements across campus before students return in September. One of the most important projects each summer is the annual refresh of classrooms across the Charles River Campus. In the past five years alone, BU has outfitted nearly 150 University Registrar classrooms campus-wide with both new technology and cosmetic enhancements.

This means the summer is the busiest time of year for FM&P employees like Project Coordinator Tricia Gilpatric, who helped manage this year’s classroom refresh. This summer’s project improved a total of 26 University Registrar classrooms in CAS, COM, SHA, and SED. In addition to the standard suite of instructional media, other upgrades included lighting improvements, furniture which better supports work in groups, and added board space. Furnishings were upgraded and tablet arm chairs in all flat-floor classrooms were replaced with new ergonomic seating.

Gilpatric said that rather than simply dispose of the old tablet arm chairs, she thought it would be better to find them a new home.

Every year Boston University continues to improve its waste reduction efforts both on campus and by working with external organizations that reuse goods that are no longer needed. Through the University’s donations of unwanted furniture to charities throughout the world, it has diverted more than 886 tons from the landfill since 2008.

“The chairs were old, but in good condition,” Gilpatric said.

Luckily, Gilpatric’s colleague Kathy Morley, a project manager for IS&T working to help with the technology upgrade portion of the project, had a connection. Morley put Gilpatric in touch with a friend at Lynn Classical High School in Lynn, MA—coincidentally the same high school famed BU alumnus Harry Agganis attended—who said the school might be interested in taking the tablet arm chairs.

“It was serendipitous,” said Gilpatric.

Morley’s friend connected Gilpatric to Tom Bourque, assistant to the school business administrator for Lynn Public Schools who helped her coordinate the donation.

Bourque said that the new desks were essential due to increased enrollment in the district.

This summer also included the second phase of the School of Law renovation, which presented another donation opportunity. Metal lockers from the law tower were replaced with new wood lockers as part of the building upgrade. Kevin Dunn, senior project manager in charge of the School of Law renovation, contacted his colleagues to see if he could find them a home.

The FM&P team contacted Bourque and once again it was a match. These efforts by BU employees are not simply about waste reduction, but highlights their great work to help local communities in need.

Bourque said that many of the lockers in Lynn Classical were broken, so it was exactly what they needed. “Ninety kids that wouldn’t have had lockers for high school this year will have them this year, so that is huge!”

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