Laptops, furniture, pianos up for auction as Tacoma school district revives auction

Laptops, school supplies, desktop computers.

Tacoma Public Schools is throwing its surplus materials up for auction for the first time in 20 years.

The auction started Wednesday and runs through Saturday. It will be held at the Old Hunt Middle School gym, 6501 S. 10th St. in Tacoma.

“Think of it as a big neighborhood garage sale,” district spokesman Dan Voelpel told The News Tribune.

Hunt Middle School stored the items for the past nine years. Soon, the school will be demolished to make way for a new school. The basement of McKinley Elementary School will serve as a new storage site.

The auction isn’t directly tied to the district’s current budget deficit, Voelpel said, but has the opportunity to help the district financially.

“If there’s a great response to it and we get a good return, it’s likely we’ll stick with it,” Voelpel said.

Typically, the district gives surplus items in bulk to a state agency that sells the products for them, or they post to an auction site. Both entities claim a portion of the sales.

This year, the school district purchasing manager Steve Demel thinks he can raise more funds with a local auction, Voelpel said. Demel has saved the district money through inventory management and contract negotiations.

“(Demel) and his partners have done a tremendous job of saving the district money over the years, and this is just one more thing he’s adding,” Voelpel said.

The district raised about $10,000 at the auction Wednesday, Demel said.

Other items for sale include tables, desk lamps, pianos and filing cabinets. For a full list, visit tacomaschools.org.

Silent auctions close a half hour before the end of each event. Items must be picked up within 24 hours of purchase and all sales are final.

About the event

What: Tacoma Public Schools Surplus Auction and Sale

When: Wednesday and Thursday (June 26-27), 1-6 p.m.; Friday (June 28), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday (June 29) 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Old Hunt Middle School gym, 6501 S. 10th St., Tacoma