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NASA’s Marshall donates furniture to Lincoln schools

Posted on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

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Flintville Elementary School maintenance workers Robert Ellis, inside the trailer, and Jason Moorehead, guiding the lift, load a desk donated by the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to Lincoln County Schools. An estimated $200,000 in acquisition value, the furniture was donated to the local school system.

What started as a refurbishing project for Building 4666 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has resulted in helping Lincoln County schools to an estimated $200,000 in gently used office furniture.

The Lincoln County School System was one of hundreds contacted by Marshall recently as it began a refurbishment project at its oldest facility in Huntsville, Building 4666, a computer operations building undergoing renovation on Dodd Road just outside the gates there. The structure is part of where the nation’s journey into space began more than a half-century ago.

“The building has been here through the whole gamut of our endeavors in space,” said Philisha Stephens, property disposal officer for NASA Marshall, explaining that the building is the focus of an historic preservation project. “It was there in the Apollo era, through the Space Shuttle era, and will now carry us into the future.”

As a result of the preservation effort, the structure will be undergoing renovation, helping it to retain its historic nature while also improving its energy efficiency. As part of that, furniture from within the facility was offered to hundreds of schools across the Tennessee Valley region. According to federal management regulations, in lieu of abandonment or destruction of property, excess property may be donated to a public body.

“Since any donations must go to a federal or state entity, we decided to contact area schools to see if they might need any future,” said Stephens. “The responding schools provided all the resources necessary to remove the furniture.

“We’re just glad that we’re able to help communities across the area,” she added, noting that over 300 emails were sent out and numerous calls made to area schools, inviting them to come to the facility and remove the all the furniture they would like.

The effort accomplishes two objectives, one it helps with the removal of furniture in the facility at no cost to Marshall, and two, it helps schools to much-needed furniture at no expense.

“Thus far, only about 10 school systems have come out to remove furniture.”

Lincoln County Schools was among those responding to the call. Local businesses assisted the school system by providing three large tractor trailer rigs and several large flatbed trucks, all well as all kinds of volunteers, to assist with the move, all at no cost to the school system.

On Feb. 28, teachers, administrators and parents of students of Flintville Elementary School in Lincoln County arrived to load trailers with furniture from Building 4666. Hundreds of pieces of furniture, having an estimated value of $200,000 at the time of acquisition some years ago, were removed, including desks, file cabinets, bookcases, tables and chairs, and transported back to Lincoln County.

“It’s just phenomenal,” said Joel Hastings, a supervisor with the Lincoln County Department of Education, describing both the response of administrators, teachers and parents, as well as the donation of furniture by Marshall.

“Stovall’s donated the use of a tractor trailer, as well as Averitt, and there were others as well who brought large trucks,” said Hastings. “When they returned, they were just packed full – I couldn’t believe what I saw.”

Pendergrass Supply sent equipment to help unload the furniture, Hastings said, adding that the effort was a true demonstration of good will on everyone’s part and commending a number of folks, including David Golden, Flintville principal, and Lisa Creson, Lance Stephens, Jason Berrtram, Josh Ogle, Josh Shelton, Robert Ellis, and Jason Moorehead.

“We just really appreciate Marshall’s generosity and everyone’s work in getting the furniture loaded at Marshall, then transported and unloaded here,” said Dr. Wanda Shelton, director of the Lincoln County School System.