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School district updates its property records

By Staff | Apr 25, 2009

More than 1,044 items were removed from the Lee County School District’s official property records this week, including $1.2 million worth of computers deemed obsolete.
The school board approved a motion Tuesday night to remove .5 percent of their total tangible property.
Items were classified as either beyond repair, unable to locate, stolen or obsolete and included computers, projectors, network equipment and software ranging in age from the 1980s to today.
Nearly all of the items, a total of 934, were classified as obsolete. While some of the obsolete items were a decade or more older, many were Gateway computers purchased by the school district in 2004 and 2005.
Greta Campbell, director of Financial Accounting and Property Records, said that computers are deemed obsolete if they can no longer be supported by the information technology staff.
“The IT staff does all of the repairs. The older they are the costlier the repairs, so they only support certain ones,” explained Campbell. “If the school can’t use the programs that need to run than they declare them as obsolete.”
Many obsolete computers are refurbished and later donated to students, said Campbell, as long as the cost of clearing the computer isn’t too expensive.
In 2005 Lee County School Board Member Robert Chilmonik noticed that the Collier County School District had been providing close to 100 computers per year to students. Chilmonik, who is a computer teacher at Edison College, suggested that the board in Lee County do the same.
“I had suggested that two years ago and I am pleased. It is a great way to recycle equipment and place it where it needs to be with our students,” said Chilmonik.
Campbell also said that hundreds of new computers will need to be purchased to replenish those recently taken out of the classroom.
Seventy-three pieces of equipment were also classified as unable to locate, meaning that the district’s inventory process failed to track each item as it passed throughout different schools.
According to a spreadsheet from the district’s Financial Accounting and Property Records department, missing items included 36 desktop or laptop computers, eight LCD — liquid crystal display — video projectors, two golf carts, three camcorders and a boat trailer.
The district also classified 12 items as stolen and removed them from their list of assets this week. The list of stolen items included 10 computers worth between $600 and $1,300 and two LCD video projectors valued at $1,160.52 and $3,595.
Items are classified as stolen after a report is filed with the police, said Campbell, specifically if there are signs of forced entry or if a police investigation determines an item was stolen.
From time to time the district routinely clears out old, obsolete or unfixable equipment. In March the board approved the removal of 54 school buses from the tangible property list. They were originally purchased for $2.1 million back in 1994 but were run beyond repair.