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Grandmother Rallies Social Media to Save Desks from Old Sylvan Middle School

CITRUS HEIGHTS -- Demolishing the old Sylvan Middle School is a tall order. Construction crews have stripped air ducts from the roofs, torn out piles of plywood and broken up huge chunks of brick.

One thing they haven't done yet is destroying all those desks.

"I was appalled, I really was," Kathy Terry said.

Terry said the sight of them, tangled into seven 10-foot-tall stacks, made her sick to her stomach. One still had the plastic cover on top, she said.

Terry stopped by the school to see if they had a desk for her granddaughter, and found thousands of pieces of school furniture in this condition dumped out back.

"Anybody would be happy to get them," Terry said.

Katie Combs, a spokesperson for the San Juan Unified School District, said the desks aren't modern enough for the school's new style -- and many were damaged.

"A lot of (this furniture) has become outdated for our purposes," Combs told FOX40.

Combs says the district held auctions for the surplus furniture handed down from several schools, and the pieces that weren't purchased were slated to be destroyed.

"There are some things that are clearly not going to be reusable," Combs said.

Instead, after Terry posted photos of the desks to Facebook, the district agreed to donate them to non-profits and give schools more time to pick them up. Within a day, Terry's post was shared more than 1,500 times. People and schools from miles away were reaching out.

Terry says she knows a little about what kids will use. As a mother of eight and grandmother of four, her home looks a lot like a classroom. She's also a long time parents volunteer, and says letting the desks be destroyed would have been a waste of money.

"I got the word out, it accomplished something to help other people. And other schools," Terry said. "And maybe saved the districts money, who knows?"