LINCOLN -More than $23,000 worth of used computers systems has been sorted, stacked and shelved at the Alcona Community Schools tech center and will be used as replacements in the district's five computer labs, officials said Friday.
The donation earlier this week from Crusecom of Oscoda includes 77 terminals, along with matching monitors, keyboards and mice. The only task left is to untangle a huge pile of connecting cords on the floor, school district computer technician Michael Suitor said.
Officials were excited about the donation, which was mentioned at a school board meeting earlier in the month.
"We are very appreciative," high school Principal Terry Allison said as he checked some of the units Suitor had neatly stacked along one wall. "It's a financial savings, because this will save us having to buy replacements for several years."
Some of the terminals also will be set up in several classrooms at the request of teachers, so students looking for information don't have to make the trek to a computer lab, the principal said.
Allison said when he started teaching at the school in 1992, the district had 28 Apple computers in its one lab.
These days, there are three computer labs at the combined middle/high school building and two at the elementary school with around 190 units available for students.
The donation effort began when Crusecom Technology Consultants of Oscoda decided to upgrade its call center with new equipment, owner Art Cruse said. The 12-year-old company provides technology services, networking, web hosting and call center services to clients.
After the swap out, the company had a pile of used computers between three and five years old.
"We went to the school to see what they needed and learned they had older computers, computers that went down and were never replaced," Cruse said. "They were down to their last three replacement monitors."
His staff erased company information from the hard drives, reformatted the terminals and installed Windows XP as the operating system. Later, employees loaded the equipment onto a donated U Haul trailer and Cruse delivered the computers to the school 16 miles away.
"I was raised in a poor school district, and the kids in Alcona need the computers so they can build their skills in programming and technology," Cruse said.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.