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Board of Ed. votes for print shop

July 23, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday voted 7-0 to take the first step toward creating an updated print shop facility within the school system.

The School Board voted 7-0 to approve a $290,890 bid for OCE-USA Inc., of Bethesda, Md., to lease to Washington County Public Schools four digital copier machines over a five-year period.

William Blum, the school system's chief operating officer, said it was more affordable to lease the copiers than to buy them.

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He said the company has given the school system the free use of two copiers through late August so it could test them.

He said he expects that by March, when the school system's printing staff is fully trained on the copiers, the School Board-based printing facility will be able to offer services to city and county governments.

He said that by January 2004 the new copiers will be moved to a renovated welding room at Washington County Technical High School, which will become the hub for the print shop to be used by school workers and students. Blum projected the cost to renovate the Technical High facility to be $400,000.

The School Board sought to build a new shop because it now uses outdated 1950s-style equipment, said Dennis McGee, the school system's director of facilities management.

Blum said the print shop is not intended to compete with the local printing industry.

He said although no representatives from local printing industries were involved in consulting about the copiers the School Board voted to lease, industry representatives had input over the two years school officials spent researching the project.

McGee said the School Board makes 25 million impressions a year and is looking to offer city and county governments the option to have the school system make 500,000 impressions a year.

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