Decades and decades of desks

Nichole Danyla

Staff Writer

You sit in them several times a day, you may even complain about them, but do you know where they come from? Can you imagine the stories they have to tell?

Clement Campana, operations assistant of physical plant said there are still are desks on campus from when he was a student and even as far back as when the college opened in the early ‘60s.

Those desks are mainly in the older buildings on campus like Brahan, Lang, Higbee, Williams, and, Guenther when it was used for classes. Oftentimes desks are only replaced when they are broken.

“If you look at some of the desks in the daycare building, we did not buy any new desks for the [classrooms] we used other available [desks],” Campana said.

It seems unless the school is doing a remodel desks are only replaced when they finally wear out, but Campana wants to change that. ”Personally I think the traditional desk/tablet kind of thing is archaic,” he said.

What they put in classrooms now are the double entry grey and white desks that are made by a company called K.I. “My plan was to take a few rooms and change them out completely so you have the same type of desks,” Campana said.

“We had a plan this summer to do a couple rooms like that but time constraints and other projects kept us from getting to it,” he said, “It’s difficult to do that but it doesn’t stop us from trying,” he added.

So when does the physical plant decide what to do with a desk when it bites the dust?

The plant decides to get rid of worn desks when they directly impact the safety of students. “Primarily it is a safety thing,” Campana said.

Custodians check the classrooms when they are cleaning and if they find a desk with a broken seat or backrest they put it in the hall to be replaced. “We don’t try to save something that’s not safe,” he said.

“We have inventory across the street and we get requests to replace desks we take it from the inventory we have in stock,” Campana said. However, that can leave a hodgepodge of desks in one classroom because new inventory commonly does not match what they had in the past.

Physical plant also gets new desks when they are building or remodeling classrooms. In an effort to get campus input they decided to poll teachers on the type of desks they wanted to be put in the Science Center and Fitzgibbons Hall.

Teachers vary stylistically on what they approve of for desks. Professors in the Science Center decided on bench seating while the teachers in Fitzgibbons went with desks on wheels.

“My mistake is that I don’t get the student population involved enough in the selection of those kinds of things,” Campana said.

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