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Central State surplus sale kicking off

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Some items more “interesting” than others

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    PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN MCKEARNEY
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Some of the items at this week’s Central State Hospital surplus sale are useful, some are most likely junk, while others are “interesting,” for a lack of a better word.

Among the “interesting” is a mid-20th century brown and green exam table, complete with the stirrups. Also included are several pieces of old-timey doctor’s tools and equipment. Among the junk, meanwhile, are several old-school big-screen televisions, the kind that used to require two or three people to steal. Then, there’s the useful, including office furniture, couches, refrigerators, shelving and kitchen items.

“Steel safes, shelving, carts, tables, chairs, couches – there is some of everything,” said Walter Reynolds, a city councilman and surplus sale organizer. “We’re taking any reasonable offer on basically anything out here that’s not bolted down to the floor.”

Many of the items have a distinctly institutional feel, especially the lunch trays, plastic bowls and plates.

“I call that anti-theft green,” mused Reynolds, pointing at the faded, light green serving bowls. “Nobody’s coming into your house and stealing something that color.”

The surplus sale begins today (Thursday) and continues through Saturday. The hours for today are 1 p.m. through 6 p.m., tomorrow from 8 a.m. through 1 a.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. The site of the sale is the Lawrence Building, located on Broad Street down the hill from the pecan orchard and the Powell Building, as well as across the central kitchen and old police department. Entry into the surplus sale actually will be behind the Lawrence Building, but signage will point shoppers in the right direction.

The Lawrence Building appears to be a small and nondescript building from the road. Once you venture back into the property, however, it becomes obvious that it’s relatively massive and expansive. The Lawrence Building served as the “central receiving area” for Central State for more than 50 years, and the building includes more than a dozen loading docks and warehouses.

“The ultimate plan is to repurpose the building. It has a great amount of potential for warehousing and production. But, first we need to get all of the old stuff out,” said Reynolds, adding that an agricultural production company currently is looking at coming into the building, and the company would specialize in hydroponics and aquaponics production. This week’s surplus sale is the first of many around

This week’s surplus sale is the first of many around the building, and it will encompass just one of the Lawrence Building’s many warehouses.

“It’s something that we’ll be doing from time to time in the future, so we just invite everyone to come on out and buy a piece of history, or just buy something that you can use around your home. Or, both,” said Reynolds.