School District Lease Purchases Computers on 3-Year Deal
Tight budget prevented immediate purchase of the new equipment
Now that they are back in school, many Manchester students will use new computers that replace the aging systems already owned by the district.
Since the district could not afford to purchase the 173 computers following years of shrinking budgets, they will be lease purchased, said the schools' business administrator Craig Lorentzen.
"It will be a three-year lease and at the end of it, we will own all of the equipment,” he said.
“The reason we are leasing is because we do not have the money in the budget to do an outright purchase," Lorentzen said.
If the district purchased the computers at once, it would cost $135,000.
"We just do not have that kind of money,” Lorentzen said.
Since computer technology is constantly updated and the machines receive a great deal of use from students and staff, Lorentzen said that that the district did not want to enter into a long-term lease.
“We try to do short-term lease purchases because they are computers. Computers have a life span of five to seven years in a school district, so we obviously do not want a longer lease than the life we get out of them,” he said.
The district was able to afford the purchase of computers years ago, but those machines are now showing their age which is why administrators felt it was time to upgrade.
“The majority of our equipment that our students are using is six to seven years old," Lorentzen said. "[Students] using six- or seven-year-old computers daily does become challenging. This is costing us every day.”
The district has already received some of the equipment and has put the new computers into the schools.
“The computers are going to be dispersed throughout all of the schools," Lorentzen said, adding that he hopes to have much of the systems in place before classes resume on Sept. 6.
"The rest of the equipment will be sent out into the schools in September,” Lorentzen said. All computers are expected to be in place by the end of September.
Older computers will be recycled into areas where they will not meet heavy usage by students, such as offices, Lorentzen said.
This is not the first time that the district has done a lease purchase option.
“We usually buy a majority of our technology through lease purchases. There are years when you can do more out of your budget, but not with everything that has happened over the last couple of years with tax and state aid reductions," Lorentzen said. "And we are still trying to recover from the large cuts."