Piedmont schools to auction 500 laptop computers
by Laura Gaddy
lbjohnson@annistonstar.com
Jun 15, 2013 | 5423 views |  0 comments | 178 178 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Computers used in the Piedmont City Schools' technology intiative. These were some of 500 auctioned off to pay for new ones.  Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
Computers used in the Piedmont City Schools' technology intiative. These were some of 500 auctioned off to pay for new ones. Photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
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Piedmont City Schools on Monday will auction 500 used laptop computers purchased in 2010 as part of a project to issue computers to each student in grades four through 12.

The devices being sold were part of the first generation of laptops issued to students through the technology program.

Superintendent Matt Akin said most of the laptops look like new computers.

The devices are being replaced this year with MacBook Airs, which are lighter and faster. The older computers have white plastic shells and were refurbished at the end of the year to be ready for the sale, Akin said.

The devices will be divided by condition and auctioned off individually in the Piedmont Elementary School cafeteria at 9 a.m. The categories will include good, average, fair and needs repair.

A minimum bid price will be set for computers in each classification, with the majority falling into the good category, Akin said.

Bidders can arrive at the cafeteria as early as 8:30 a.m. to see samples of computers. Between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. they can submit sealed bids.

Those who are awarded bids must pay with cash or a money order, and they must be present after bids are tabulated at 11:15 a.m. The devices will be awarded to the top bidders in each classification until the devices are all purchased, Akin said.

School officials could have sold the computers in bulk, but they decided to have a community sale, Akin said.

Akin has said he would like to be able to sell the devices directly to students who have shown an interest in purchasing them, but the sale will be open to everyone to comply with the Alabama bid law.

“We will follow the process and hopefully, everyone who wants to get one will,” Akin said.

While some educators would like the computers to end up in the hands of students, there’s no guarantee that will happen. Businesses from across the country and other potential buyers, including churches, have contacted the school system to learn more about the sale, school officials said.

“It’s not outside the realm of possibility that someone comes in and buys every single one of them,” said Mike Hayes, the school system’s director of operations.

Piedmont’s graduating seniors have had the devices for three years, and as of graduation, they were without their MacBooks for the first time since they were sophomores. Now accustomed to having technology in hand, Akin said they’ll be in the market for computers even if they don’t get them at the Monday sale.

“Most of them are going to college,” Akin said. “They’ll be looking to purchase a computer, or a laptop or some device.”

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

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