Campus furniture finds new homes in local community organizations
By Rachel Wong
After a summer of upgrades and changes to the Surrey campus, students, staff and faculty will see some noticeable changes, including upgraded study spaces and a new Welcome Centre. But with the new furniture in place, one question comes to mind: what will happen to the existing furniture?
Mike Devolin, associate director of facilities at SFU Surrey, had the idea to donate the furniture to community partners.
"The furniture, though at the end of life, would still provide useful value to community partners with limited resources,” says Devolin. He ran the idea by Steve Dooley, executive director of the Surrey campus, and together they began to reach out to community partners.
Devolin says the idea not only benefits the local community, but also the environment.
"The furniture would possibly end up in the landfill, with the exception of any scrap metal that could be salvaged.”
One organization to benefit is the Centre for Child Development, which received 10 classroom tables, 30 stackable rolling chairs, and three rolling workstations which are now used in the resource and consultation rooms in the centre’s new Supported Child Development portable.
“Receiving this donation means that instead of buying furniture, our funds can be used to provide training and services for our kids with special needs, and the parents and professionals that help and support them.” says Gerard Bremault, CEO of The Centre for Child Development and Child Development Foundation of B.C.
Another organization, Lookout Housing and Health Society, received nine sofas that once graced the campus mezzanine. These sofas now sit in the common area at a Lookout rooming house, and at Carr’s Place, a new Lookout program that provides assisted living support for adult men recovering from substance use and mental health issues.
“As a non-profit organization, Lookout is grateful for the ongoing partnerships and support from the community,” says Deb MacLean, manager, Sober Living Program at Lookout.
“The furniture donation from SFU has enabled us to provide comfortable and welcoming gathering places for the people we support in our programs.”
Devolin estimates that about 50 per cent of the furniture has been donated. As more changes and upgrades happen at the Surrey campus, Devolin looks forward to donating more campus furniture to local community groups.