Schools in Massachusetts Provide 1,200 Items to Schools in Zambia


The Berlin-Boylston Regional School District (Mass.) moved into a new middle/high School in January 2013. The surplus furnishings and equipment from the old school were offered to other schools and municipal departments and to the local com-munities. After this, there remained about 1,200 surplus items. Just days before the building needed to be emptied so abatement could begin, the District heard about IRN’s Surplus Program, and made the decision that reuse was preferable to destroying and disposing of the remaining surplus.


With less than a week’s lead time, this reuse project came together only because it received the unified support and teamwork of all of the parties involved in design and construction of the new school:

The Berlin-Boylston Regional School District. Superintendent Nadine Ekstrom Principal Diane Tucceri, and Building Committee Chair Dean Polnerow made the decision that discarding the remaining surplus should be avoided if at all possible.

PMA Consultants. The District’s Project Manager for the construction project, PMA’s Deborah Shaer, took the initiative to introduce IRN’s Surplus Program to the District, advocate for reuse, and manage the project to completion.

HMFH Architects, Construction Administration Architect Alan Pemstein. Sustainable design and materials were integral to HMFH’s plans for the school, and Mr. Pemstein advocated for reuse as a logical extension of this design philosophy.

CTA Construction Company, Project Manager Jim Goulet. CTA offered their wholehearted support to this environmentally and socially valuable project.


In a span of just 72 hours, IRN and PMA developed a scope of services, agreed on a cost proposal, and negotiated and signed a contract to ensure the reuse project could move forward smoothly and be completed without delaying the overall construction contract schedule.

Moving and loading: IRN secured New England Office Connection to visit the site, prepare the moving plan and budget, and set up the moving crew.

Recipient and shipping: Charitable partner Food for the Poor identified a recipient school in Jamaica and secured shipping containers – a process that normally requires a week or more.

Budget: PMA, CTA, the District, and the Building Committee developed and agreed upon a cost-sharing agreement for this solution to removing usable surplus from the existing Tahanto school.


Item Count
Bookcases 26
Books (Gaylord boxes) 13
AV Equipment 9
Chairs - Tablet Arm 132
Chairs - Other 537
Desks 151
Storage Cabinets 20
File Cabinets 47
Tables 144
Other inc. gym equipment, kitchen equipment, musical instruments 48
Total Pieces: 1,127


IRN’s charitable partner Food For The Poor matched the Tahanto Middle/High School inventory with St. Georges College in Jamaica, a Grade 1 through 12 school serving an impoverished neighborhood in Kingston. Tahanto’s surplus will be used to outfit a new science building at the school, which is nearly complete but was without a source of furnishings. The Tahanto surplus makes a major contribution to Food For The Poor’s “50 Schools in 50 Months” initiative in Jamaica, with the goal to construct and outfit fifty grade- and high-schools by 2015.


January 23, 7:40 AM. The first of four shipping containers arrives to be loaded with Tahanto’s surplus.

Tahanto surplus staged in the school’s foyer before being loaded into shipping containers.

Loading the third of four containers. Containers are loaded as high and tight as possible to minimize shipping costs and prevent damage in transit.

(L to R) Principal Diane Tucceri, Superintendent Nadine Ekstrom, and IRN Project Mgr Stacey Clark