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Alabama district saves with recertified computers

The Jasper City School District started buying recertified computers last year. Susan Chandler is the district's technology coordinator.

<b>What are your district's key technology goals?</b>

We're trying to move forward to all 21st century classrooms. Each classroom would have an interactive smartboard, a projector, wireless connectivity and a computer unit to hook into. Eventually we'd have integrated audio, too.

<b>What made you decide to try recertified equipment? </b>

We bought our first refurbished computers in the spring of last year: one laptop cart for the elementary school. I had called other districts that used CDI and talked to some other tech coordinators. The equipment was backed with a three-year warranty. CDI had been in business for a long time and was a reputable company.

<b>How has the decision worked out so far? </b>

On these computers, I spent $648. I would have spent $1,100 with the exact same equipment if I bought new.

After the laptop cart, we bought $120,000 worth of equipment for teacher use.  The teachers are using them and love them. I usually spent around $900 per computer in the past. On these computers, I spent $648 — I would have spent $1,100 with the exact same equipment if I bought new.

If CDI couldn't meet the minimum specs for the order, they gave me more than I asked for. They also imaged the computers for me. I really only have three technicians. Between 1,400 computers and all the tech work we have to keep up with, imaging the equipment was a plus.

<b>Any hitches with the equipment? </b>

Out of 186 computers, I had to call CDI about three of them. I don't think that was bad at all. Those were replaced the next day. Yes, they were refurbished but I don't know that anyone had used them. They were still in the original box.

<b>Any plans to buy additional recertified equipment?</b>

We got a grant for some laptop carts. I'll probably give them out to bid. If CDI were to win, I'd have no problem with that. They are a delight to work with.

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