The switch from chalkboards to whiteboards at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley campus seemed to be a good move for instructors and students. But the benefits proved to be short-lived due to the low quality of the whiteboards — dozens of whiteboards that were acquired on a bidding system that favored lowest purchase price, which is common amongst educational institutions.
“We did a mass purchase in a competitive bidding process and selected a product based on low cost,” said David Staerkel, facilities manager for the two-year campus of the University of Wisconsin System. The new boards had a porcelain face and seemed to be what the college and its instructors were looking for to improve classroom presentations.
But it wasn’t long before problems literally started to surface, according to Staerkel. Instructors and maintenance staff had an increasingly difficult time cleaning the boards, which were installed in the front and sides of classrooms throughout the campus. The boards became a challenge to clean and had ghosting and staining.
Maintenance costs were eating away at the savings UW-Fox Valley had gained by purchasing from the low bidder, and instructors were regularly complaining about the problems with the boards.
But there were boards on campus that were not prompting complaints nor requiring ongoing maintenance. They were whiteboards purchased from EverWhite — installed after the initial mass installation for a new addition to the university’s science building.
“We were getting a lot of complaints, so I went to look further into the situation and determined that there were no complaints coming from instructors who had been using the EverWhite whiteboards,” Staerkel said.
Not only were the surfaces of the EverWhite boards superior, but the maintenance was also much simpler, Staerkel added. “The boards could be cleared very easily without any special cleaners,” he said. “We didn’t need any caustic chemicals such as whiteboard cleaners to keep them white, like we did for the other boards.” Skipping special whiteboard cleaners saved UW-Fox Valley money, and prevented harsh cleaners from harming indoor air quality.
Since then, Staerkel has been purchasing EverWhite boards to replace the low-quality boards that were originally purchased from the other manufacturer. By purchasing in smaller quantities, he can avoid the complex bidding process and save UW-Fox Valley money. According to Staerkel, “Other boards might cost less initially, but in the long run, EverWhite boards are, by far, less costly.”
To replace many of the low-quality whiteboards in his buildings, Staerkel has been resurfacing them using EverEZ Resurfacing Panels. Also known as “skins”, they have a factory-applied, pressure-sensitive adhesive backing that can be applied right over old whiteboards or chalkboards. “With EverEZ Resurfacing Panels, we don’t need to replace perfectly good mounting frames. We can apply the skins right over what we have.”
EverEZ Resurfacing Panels have been a cost-effective solution for UW-Fox Valley, and a “green” solution, according to Staerkel. “You can keep a lot of material out of the landfill by using EverEZ Resurfacing Panels,” he said.
With whiteboards from EverWhite, UW-Fox Valley now has lower maintenance costs and long-term costs. With the EverWhite lifetime guarantee, UW-Fox Valley will never again have to budget for replacement whiteboards.