2014-03-14 / Community News

Wentworth furnishing decision forthcoming

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Once this school year is over, desks, chairs, bookcases and the like from the existing Wentworth Intermediate School will be donated to Partners for World Health, a South Portland-based medical mission organization, which will bring the items to schools in impoverished nations all across the world. (Michael Kelley photo) Once this school year is over, desks, chairs, bookcases and the like from the existing Wentworth Intermediate School will be donated to Partners for World Health, a South Portland-based medical mission organization, which will bring the items to schools in impoverished nations all across the world. (Michael Kelley photo) With the construction of the new Wentworth School nearing completion, school officials have turned their focus from the construction of the school to what will be placed inside it.

The school district is in the midst of finding a company to provide advice and consultation about the budget, selection and installation of furnishings and other moveable equipment for the new school.

A selection is expected by the first week of April.

The plan is not to retain the furnishings, which include the school’s desks, chairs, tables, storage equipment and other office and classroom items.

There is hope that some of the items in Wentworth could be used in some of the other schools. The remaining furnishings and equipment will be donated to Partners for World Health, a medical mission organization in South Portland that visits hospitals, schools and orphanages all across the world.

“We will certainly repurpose any and all furnishings from Wentworth Intermediate School that have value and longevity left in them in our other schools first,” Todd Jepson, the district’s director of facilities, wrote in a letter to Superintendent George Entwistle. “However, it is my recommendation that any of the furnishings that are no longer of use to the school department be donated to Partners for World Health to help in their efforts to provide quality materials to help furnish schools and medical facilities in disadvantaged countries.”

Elizabeth McLellan, the founder and president of Partners for World Health, has agreed to provide volunteers to remove the furnishings before the school is demolished later this year. She has expressed interest in using the items to start a school in Bangladesh or Rwanda.

Board of Education member Chris Caiazzo, who, along with his fellow board members, approved the request at a meeting last week, said this approach will save the district money in removal costs.

Board of Education member Jackie Perry said it is important for students to know their old desks and chairs are not being thrown away, but rather used to improve the lives of students a world away.

“This is not the first time Scarborough has done this,” Perry said. “I think it is absolutely incredible we are able to do this. Our children, our students, should know their stuff is not being thrown in the scrap heap.”

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