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Amid downsizing, tag sale of surplus items held at Erie Community College South Campus

Daycare and pre-school operators joined restaurateurs in droves, seeking bargains in the liquidation of early child care and food service items.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Due to declining enrollment, Erie Community College is in the process downsizing its South Campus.

As 2 On Your Side has previously reported, this will result in a reduction of course offerings at the campus in Orchard Park as well as staff reductions.

As well, the campus will be reducing its physical footprint, and on Thursday two tag sales were conducted to liquidate surplus items, attracting interest from bargain hunters involved in the early childhood and food service industries.

In an email, College President David Balkan explained that Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) of Erie Community College, a not for profit organization which has historically provided food services and childcare services for ECC, decided to end those services at the ECC South Campus because of low demand.

According to the college's web site, ASC serves as the fiduciary for the disbursement of student activity fees, and is overseen by a board comprised of ECC faculty, students and administrators. 

Bargains galore

“It’s quite exciting,” said Charmaine Then, owner of Edna Louise Estate & Household Liquidations, which was conducting the sales.

Turnout was high at Building 2, where the college was liquidating items from its five-room early childcare center, attracting teachers and daycare operators hoping to get items for their classrooms and facilities.

“We got two tables, two book shelves, about 10 chairs and 15 cots," said Rachel Tobin, who with her business partner plans on opening a daycare.

One couple who runs a daycare in Berwick, Pa., drove more than four hours in a U-Haul truck to transport the bevy of items they purchased.

Wait your turn

Everyone who attended had to first sign up and then wait to be called inside for their turn to purchase items.

“We do that to try and keep some semblance or order, because as you can see, it’s a little crazy right now,” said Then, as she sidestepped customers entering and leaving the building.

Members of the Staff at the Pixy Village pre-school in Williamsville arrived at 4 a.m., some six hours before the doors opened, to get their choice of items.

“That helped us get on the top of the list, and that's why we were able to get some really cool stuff,” said Jessica Nayor, a teacher at the school.

Hot Stuff in The Kitchen

Credit: WGRZ

As the first sale was winding down, a similarly busy situation began to unfold one building over, where the college was liquidating its deli, concession, and kitchen equipment.

The din of the cups saucers and plates was palpable, as they were picked through by those involved in the food service industry.

According to several restaurateurs seeking to buy items, which included commercial grade freezers, refrigerators, fryers, pizza ovens and milk shake machines, commercial food service equipment has been harder to come by due to supply chain issues.

Pots, pans, forks, and knives were also among the items being scooped up by those seeking deals.

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