By TREVOR PYLE and BLASS GUERERRO ¦
In the lobbies of Parcells Hall and the Byrd Building at Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus, the couches have seen better days. The color and pattern have worn off the couches, leaving large areas rubbed bare. The damage is particularly bad on the fourth floor.
“The furniture has got to go,” Matthew Pittcock, an engineering major, said. “Surely Amarillo College can spare some funds to fix up or replace the furniture. The ratty furniture doesn’t make the school look very good.”
Jim Baca, director of physical plant, said he is fully aware of the furniture issues and has been trying to replace and repair the worn furniture, but is having trouble securing the funds to do so. “I think the furniture will get fixed eventually. The funds are coming, but they are just trickling in slowly. Until then, I just have to do what I can,” Baca said.
According to Baca, the money wasn’t in the budget to buy new furniture last year, but plans are to replace the furniture in the future, “The quote I received from our vendor was $9,247.01 for the replacement of these pieces. I am hoping to get this done in this fiscal year’s budget, but it depends on how much we’re budgeted for furniture replacement.”
“Money is the issue. It would have to come out of the Physical Plant budget for Capital Expenditures,” Baca explained.
The worn furniture does not bother Justin Phommachanh, a business major. “I come up here just about every day to play games with my friends. As long as I can sit and the furniture isn’t rickety or broken, I am fine,” he said.
Phommachanh said he is actually fond of the damaged couches. “I sleep on the couches and sit in the seats and they’re all broken in and comfy. I love the furniture,” he said.
Pittcock disagreed and said he thought the furniture should be replaced, adding that the students should take action to fix some of it if there’s no money for replacement.
“I come up here every day between classes to do homework, study or just wait for my next class. A lot of us can’t go home because we only have an hour between classes. We have to sit around here and it would be nice if we could sit and wait for our next class without being uncomfortable,” Pittcock said.
According to AC board of regents meeting minutes, the furniture purchase was approved in 2011 as part of the overall renovation of the buildings, which was completed in 2012, making the Byrd/Parcells couches less than 10 years old. The warranty for the furniture only lasted for 12 months, Baca said.