Where's all that paper come from?

Chris Tonge knows exactly where every sheet of white copy paper in the entire Central Kitsap School District is and where it came from. Tonge, the warehouse coordinator for the district, is the go-to guy for school supplies from paper to milk for the school lunches.

Tonge is right at home in the warehouse, which is located on Frontier Place about a half-block away from Central Kitsap High School.

The warehouse is stocked with janitorial supplies, dry bulk foods and furniture that isn’t being used. In some places the boxes are stacked from floor to ceiling.

There are some items in the warehouse parents of young children would love to have in their own cleaning closets at home. Among the gems are Gum Off, which freezes gum so it can be chipped off floors or furniture, and a what could easily be a lifetime supply of toilet paper for a family of 50.

It’s Tonge’s job to make sure the supplies go to the right place and to make sure there are enough supplies on hand to fulfill any need, such as surplus textbooks.

Textbooks are a hot commodity in CKSD because the student population is constantly fluctuating because of the heavy military influence on the school district. They also have extras on hand to replace any damaged textbooks.

“They get worn out fast,” Tonge said. “You wouldn’t believe how fast they get torn up.”

Each morning, the warehouse is a hub of activity. All of the district’s mail filters through the warehouse and has to be sorted and sent to the appropriate school. In addition, each morning Tonge reviews all the requests that are sent in through e-mail and ensures the supplies are packed unto the trucks and delivered with the mail. Each day, the district gets anywhere from four to 40 tubs of mail.

“The volume of mail is so large we have to pick it up from the loading dock at the post office,” he said. He estimated that 90 percent of the mail is catalogs and assorted junk mail.

The warehouse has three trucks: two vans and one UPS-style vehicle.

Sometimes, if the e-mailed requests are sent early enough, the teachers and administrators can get their goods the next day.

In addition, Tonge also keeps track of surplus goods, which are stored in a separate warehouse at Jackson Park Elementary School.

Every couple of years, when the warehouse at Jackson Park gets full of surplus goods, CKSD has an auction. At the most recent auction this summer, CKSD put its old driver’s education simulators up for bid (the district no longer offers driver’s education), but they didn’t fare well.

“No one bought them,” Tonge said.

During the school year, Tonge is also responsible for stocking the district’s kitchen, which is located in the same building as the warehouse. The warehouse and the district kitchen are separated by a set of double doors.

With so many tasks to accomplish, Tonge said his saving grace is that he is organized.

“I enjoy my job,” Tonge said. “I was a driver for eight years and I’ve been warehouse coordinator for 11 years. I take pride in the condition of the warehouse. I take pride in organization.”

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