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Pangborn Elementary holds auction of unneeded supplies

June 12, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN -- How much is an outdated globe worth?

What about a wobbly writing desk?

Or a box full of school clocks?

Those questions and more were answered Wednesday evening during a rare auction at Pangborn Elementary School.

As it prepares to tear down the school, Washington County Public Schools has been working to find new homes for hundreds of desks, chairs, tables and other supplies from Pangborn Elementary that won't be needed when the new school opens this fall.

"What we're doing tonight is selling anything and everything we can sell," said Boyd Michael, the assistant superintendent for school operations who will become the system's deputy superintendent in July.

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Michael said the school was able to move about three-quarters of its unneeded supplies to other schools before the auction.

The money raised at the auction will be placed in the school system's education fund, Michael said.

The new Pangborn Elementary school will have all new furniture as part of the construction bid, Michael said.

More than 50 people attended Wednesday's auction, packing into tiny classrooms with no air conditioning to get a good deal on anything up for sale.

The crowd followed an auctioneer from room to room, flashing cards with numbers as the auctioneer started the bidding on items of interest.

Many people were amazed at the deals that could be found.

"Two TVs, two racks, five bucks. Amazing," said one man as he walked by two old TVs on rolling carts.

Todd Roberts was giddy as he snatched up his $10 prize: a box full of black and white wall clocks.

"Why did I buy them? Memorabilia," said Roberts, whose son attended Pangborn.

Roberts said he also hoped to get a desk from one of his son's former classrooms.

Several bidders at the auction had practical reasons for buying used school furniture.

Valerie Hirsch teaches fourth grade at Broadfording Christian Academy.

She said the whiteboards she bought for $10 will come in handy at her school.

"I will use them in my classroom," Hirsch said.

Beth Bankes, a teacher at Rocky Knoll School in Martinsburg, W.Va., bought 20 student desks for $5 apiece.

She said they are smaller than the desks in her classroom now.

"They'll take up about half the floor space. It's better to buy them here to try them out then to pay full price and find out they don't work," Bankes said.

Michael said a similar auction will be held at Maugansville Elementary School, which, like Pangborn, will be replaced with a new school next fall.

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