Town Offices, Others Get CU's Old Furniture

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What was old became new again when Credit Union Central Falls donated all of its office furniture and telephone systems to several area businesses, including town offices, a school administration building, a fire academy and a local Boys & Girls Club.

"Basically, we put up a new corporate office and no longer had a need for the furniture that occupied the old space," said Daniel J O'Brien, CUCF senior VP and CFO.

While the furniture was about 12 to 15 years old, he said, the pieces combined were valued in excess of $200,000 and included cubicle set ups, chairs, file cabinets, conference tables and reception area desks.

Not long after word went out in January that the furniture was available, responses poured in, he said.

Among the takers were the Town of North Smithfield, which received some 30 cubicles with desks and chairs, a dozen file cabinets, three conference tables and reception-types desks to use in the tax collector's and town clerk's offices.

"When people walk in, it will look like a professional office, with heavy-duty professional stuff I know the town would never, ever be able to buy," Robert Lowe, North Smithfield town administrator told local media recently. He said the donation included lighting and related accessories.

O'Brien said some of the furniture and a telephone system went to the new state fire academy in Exeter. Our Lady of Martyrs, a local Catholic school, received some waiting room chairs, and Progresso Latino, a community service organization, received a phone system.

And, the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket received not just a phone system, but installation came compliments of CUCF's former telephone service provider George Shaheen, owner of Rhode Island Telephone, he said. "We managed to find a lot of homes for a lot of things," O'Brien said.

The CU, with $965 million in assets, moved into its newly built corporate office in Smithfield on April 1. The $8.5-million facility is 65,000 square feet -17,000, or roughly one floor, of which is still unfinished-and includes an employee game room, fitness center, and, of course, new furniture.

It's quite a contrast from the CU's former headquarters where employees were scattered over several locations, O'Brien said. At its main location, some CUCF employees worked within 8,300 square feet of space while the rest were in another 4,000 feet in another part of the building that was also shared by other businesses.

"We were at the point where people were sharing offices," he said. "We even held off on hires because they would have been standing in the hallways."

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