Supplies thrown out from empty Lake Oswego school


LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN) — School supplies from a closed Lake Oswego school are going to the dumpster instead of being donated to local organizations.

A parent found them and brought it to the attention of KOIN 6 News.

“To my surprise, there was packets in there of paper, paint. A lot of unused material that was still in boxes, still in perfect condition. This is most definitely things people can use. There was also stop watches for track, protractors, compasses,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.

Palisades Elementary School closed in 2012 and the building was recently leased for 3 years by the City of Lake Oswego to house the parks department, the district’s Bonnie Hirshberger said.

“We’re operating under a real tight timeline. The sale of the Web building, the city sale of the Web building happened fairly quickly,” Stuart Ketzler, the finance director for the Lake Oswego school board told KOIN 6 News. “And their request and our board’s subsequent approval of a lease agreement with the city (for Palisades Elementary) was only approved at our July 6 meeting and we needed to be out by the end of this month.”

He said the district didn’t feel “we had enough time to orchestrate that nor sufficient staffing because our schools are largely vacant during the summer.”

Ketzler claimed recyclers who were contacted were not interested in taking the items.

That prompted the decision to throw the school supplies out. Ketzler said if they had more staff — limited due to the summer hours — they may have looked at donating the supplies to local groups.

Throughout the day Thursday, people stopped by to load up their vans and SUVs with free supplies.

“I found some manila envelopes and some hanging folders,” preschool teacher Linda Albright-Campbell said. “I know a lot of teachers would’ve come out and grabbed a lot of this stuff. I wish I would’ve got down here sooner.”

Hirshberger, a Citizen Information Specialist for the city of Lake Oswego, said teachers were given the opportunity on Tuesday and Wednesday to come pick up supplies. Other teachers or community members who are interested in the supplies are also welcome to come pick up them up, she said.

KOIN 6 News learned Lake Oswego Schools is now working with at least one other district to possibly give the remaining items to.

School supplies from the vacant Palisades Elementary in Lake Oswego are thrown away, July 22, 2015 (Courtesy: J.Gross)

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