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Old Classroom Furniture Caribbean-Bound

Old furniture from a closed elementary school in Concord is on its way to the Caribbean.

When the Conant/Rumford school closed for good last month, the building was still full of old teacher desks, tables, chairs, bookshelves, cabinets and more.

Local moving crews were working Monday morning to load three trucks of shipping containers with about seven hundred and fifty pieces of furniture. All of it will be sent to a warehouse in Spanishtown, Jamaica. From there, it will be picked up by Food for the Poor, a Christian charity that operates in the Caribbean Basin and Central America. The charity then distributes the furniture to schools in the region. Much of it is expected to end up in Haiti.

Behind this effort is the Concord-based Institution Recycling Network. IRN is a for profit organization. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Dana Draper, says his organization works with a lot of schools, hospitals and businesses.

“It’s amazing what people throw out. I mean, all of this is totally functional. The biggest thing we do is we work with a lot of the charities that build schools and then need the furniture to outfit the schools.”

Students who attended the Conant/Rumford school will attend the new Abbot-Downing school in the fall.

Before becoming a reporter for NHPR, Ryan devoted many months interning with The Exchange team, helping to produce their daily talk show. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Manchester with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Communication Arts. While in school, he also interned for a DC-based think tank. His interests include science fiction and international relations. Ryan is a life-long Manchester resident.

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