How to Renovate your School on a Budget

Schools have always been underfunded but never more so than in the present. With the economic climate stagnant for years, schools and education have faced dire financial situations for multiple fiscal cycles. This not only means little – or no – money for renovation or books; it means that the same worn-out school furniture – desks, chairs, tables, storage and lockers, mats – are leftovers from a couple of decades ago.

However, it is possible to renovate the look of a school without massive expenditures. There may not be many funds for new permanent buildings – or even to repair the old ones – but there is money to update necessary classroom items and these include the items that our students see every day when they enter a classroom. Pupils can feel the value of their education when they go to school. If their buildings are falling apart, if the paint is peeling, if the pavement is cracked, they can feel the dilapidation of their environment. Yet once they enter their classrooms, those are their living spaces for at least 7 hours a day. What is inside of those rooms – the basic materials available to them – matters.

Replacing furniture doesn’t need to be a budget buster. Taking an inventory of all items used by schoolchildren, such as chairs, desks, worktables, files, storage areas, lockers, and determining exactly how many of each absolutely need to be replaced due to wear and tear is the initial step. There are various outlets for bulk ordering and cost-reduced purchases of school furniture. Local outlets usually overcharge for their furniture because they have long had an understanding that schools would establish special relationships with them and purchase their items even when they could get them somewhat cheaper somewhere else. When you actually search and compare, you might be able to replace significantly damaged items for a reasonable cost.

school budget

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8759111@N02/3320291932/

When you buy a particular item in bulk, most suppliers will give you an additional discount per item. Replacing all of a particular item in a classroom (such as brand new desks) immediately lifts the atmosphere of a classroom from a place of decline into a new facility. The students can feel that somebody cared enough to ensure that they have new supplies and their expectations lift when in those desks.

Surely there is a particular set of items that have been aging in your schools for several years. They may be chairs, desks, or any type of school furniture that is necessary for student learning. Take a count, look around, and you will find that for only a few hundred dollars, you can lift the spirit and morale of education at your school through a few simple renovations.

Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

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