Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Furniture donation transforms media center

The Middle School at Parkside media center looks almost nothing like it did just a couple of weeks ago, after a generous donation from Brady Sullivan Properties helped give the space a much needed update. The real estate company was moving office furniture out of a building to make room for a new tenant when Arthur Sullivan had an idea.

“Instead of storing the tables and chairs or selling them, we wanted to offer them to the school district,” Mr. Sullivan said. “I was born and raised in Manchester, and I appreciate the education I received here. Giving back to our community is very important, and this was an opportunity for us to do that.”

When Parkside principal Forrest Ransdell heard about the available furniture, he jumped at the chance to take it for the school’s library. The room was furnished with old wooden chairs, which were difficult to move around on the carpeted floor, and tables repurposed to hold desktop computers. Within a few days, plans were made to deliver the Brady Sullivan furniture to Parkside, and Mr. Ransdell spent a couple of weekend days bolting down the long office tables.

The transition was complete last week. Today, all of the library’s round tables have comfortable rolling chairs, and the computers are arranged on one end of the large room – also with accompanying rolling chairs – in the newly named “Brady Sullivan Media Information Technology Lab.” A permanent plaque soon will hang on the wall to memorialize the donation.

“The kids are wowed,” said Robin Tafe, Parkside library media specialist. “The room has a professional vibe, and that makes such a difference to learning environments.”

Middle School at Parkside principal Forrest Ransdell,
library media specialist Robin Tafe, and teacher
Jennifer Harrises thanked Arthur Sullivan, far right.
More improvements to the media center are still to come. A Parkside graduate now working on his Eagle Scout application will refurbish the round tables with new paint and surfaces, as well as build a presentation stage and podium.

“We still have work to do to make our library what we envision,” said Mr. Ransdell. “But none of it is possible without the start Brady Sullivan has given us.”

Parkside hosted a short dedication ceremony to thank Mr. Sullivan and his company. The Middle School at Parkside chamber orchestra provided entertainment.

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