By Josh LaBella
In an effort to save money and bring more technology to schools, the West Haven school system was the recipient of 46 SMART boards donated to it by Stratford High School.
Chris Everone, the facilities supervisor for West Haven public schools, said the donation came about when the high school renovation project chairman Ken Carney told him about the SMART boards. He said the architect from Antinozzi Associates, the firm in charge of designing the new addition to the school, is also working on a project in Stratford.
“We met down there the Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” said Everone. “I brought two of our guys down to take a look at them. Our IT department went down before that just to check on them to see if it was worth it.”
Everone said IT told him the SMART boards, which are interactive display whiteboards used in classrooms, were in good shape. He said the boards were already taken down and on the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving they went down to pick them up.
“[The SMART boards were] in pretty good shape,” said Everone. “The projectors were in good shape. That’s the biggest cost. We’re going to be utilizing them in our schools.”
Everone said some of the boards are slated for Washington School and a couple will be going to the high school. He said the school system has a lot of technology in the classrooms already so they will be looking at other rooms where they can be utilized. He said he was unsure of the exact price a new board would cost but that it was expensive.
“I could guess that a SMART board total is anywhere between five and eight thousand dollars,” said Everone. “So you’re talking substantial savings. It was great that Stratford let us grab them. They we’re slated to be demoed.”
Ken Carney said Mayor Nancy Rossi asked him to see if there was a partnership that could be made with Stratford that could save the city money.
“Lo and behold, when I went down there, they said they had a problem with having to dispose of 46 SMART boards,” said Carney. “I said ‘we’ll take them.’”
Carney said the process was emblematic of the mayor’s “outside the box” way of thinking. He said Stratford was not allowed to sell the boards so it was ideal for them to give them away.
According to Everone, the boards are a few years old. He said all the equipment that they need to use them came with it. He called it a home run and said they are working with Assistant Superintendent Anne Druzolowski to place them in schools.