Springerville, Ariz. – Tucson Electric Power’s Springerville Generating Station (SGS) has donated 50 newer model desktop computers for use in Round Valley High School’s computer labs and library.

“We are very appreciative,” said Merrell Hamblin, Director of Information Technology for Round Valley Unified School District in Eagar. “The donation saves the school more than $40,000. We weren’t going to be able to replace the aging computers and would have had to operate with just three [of four] computer labs, which would have limited the schedule for use.”

Wesley McBride, SGS Supervisor of IT Support, was helping Hamblin with a project when he became aware of the school’s need.

“Wes was helping me with another project and asked if there was anything else that TEP could do to help us,” Hamblin explained. “I told him that we were losing one of our four computer labs next year because of the older computers there. That’s when he offered to donate used computers from TEP.”

McBride is a former student of Hamblin’s at Round Valley Middle School and served as his teacher’s aide and assistant, an opportunity that provided him with his first experience with computers.

“Helping the school is one of the many reasons I enjoy the small community where I live, and I feel like I can give back in a myriad of ways through my employment at TEP,” McBride said.

Hamblin said the computers in the lab are at least seven years old and operate with Microsoft Windows 7, which will no longer be supported after January 14, 2020. “For security purposes, the computers need to be taken offline,” he said.

TEP typically replaces and upgrades its computers every few years to support new software requirements. After the hard drives are wiped of data, the computers are donated to nonprofit groups and schools.

McBride delivered the donated computers to the school in early December. Hamblin’s team will install the school’s software onto the computers over Christmas break and move them into the lab and library so they’re ready for use by students when school resumes in January.

In addition to the 50 computers, TEP donated two projection systems for use in the school’s auditorium and at their football stadium dome – the only such high school stadium in the United States.

TEP donates more than $1.7 million annually to the communities where it operates or provides service. The company’s financial, in-kind and volunteer contributions focus on three key areas:  community assistance, education and environmental stewardship.

TEP provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to approximately 425,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc., which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. To learn more, visit fortisinc.com.

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