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Storage use saves money for schools

COVINGTON - The property management team at the Newton County School System has been busy recently trying to reduce the amount of clutter and also increase revenue.

"Property not in use at schools and system departments is collected and stored at the school system warehouse," said Mike Barr, purchasing coordinator for NCSS, in a presentation to the Newton County Board of Education on Tuesday. "After inspection, all property is classified as either appropriate for redistribution or disposal."

Items in storage may include bookshelves, file cabinets, student desks, coolers and other items found in schools.

"Managing property in this manner ensures schools are able to make the most effective use of building space," Barr said in his presentation. "The process eliminates the need for schools to dedicate building space for property storage."

Last year, the school system started using technology to get rid of unneeded items. If school officials determine an item is not serviceable or needed, then the item could be listed on GovDeals.com, which is an online auction system like eBay that targets those who need such governmental items.

Barr said the school system has made about $33,000 since March 2008 using GovDeals.com.

Items not listed on the Web might end up with Creative Recycling Systems Inc., which disposes of obsolete electronic devices. The company gets rid of any student data or other secured information and also disposes of the property in an environmentally friendly manner, Barr said.

This year, the property management crew is trying to be even more efficient with stored property.

"Property that is in good condition or that may be repaired is classified for redistribution," Barr said in his presentation.

Now, his department is taking pictures of items in storage, creating a description and posting it to Sharepoint, an employee intranet. There, employees can view the information and request an item to be delivered to their classroom or department. Barr also said employees can sign up for e-mail alerts to know when new items are posted.

He said this will especially be useful during increased enrollment and will save the school system even more money.

"We have not purchased furniture for existing facilities in over two years," Barr said. "We've saved at least $100,000 conservatively."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.