From Dean May, an Indiana piano builder writes:
I probably had 20 people contact me today to let me know ISU was filling dumpsters up with pianos. So I drive by to take a look. This is a $10k classic piano that had nothing wrong with it.
I researched a little back story. Most if not all the pianos were regularly maintained and very serviceable instruments. Apparently the bean counters decided to cut maintenance spending by buying a bunch of new digital pianos.
This particular piano came out of a teaching studio of one of the university’s well known and respected instructors.
Edit: ISU=Indiana State University
The local newspaper took up the issue. Mr May continues:
Mark Alesia, ISU director of communication, said the pianos were old and “virtually beyond repair” to the point they could not be sold at a public auction.”
Mr. Alesia is a communications director. I am a 40 year piano technician. The ISU piano technician is 25 years in the business. We would both disagree with Mr. Alesia’s assessment.
No doubt some of the pianos were in badly scarred cabinets. But they were all playable and were up to near standard pitch. And some of them were in quite good condition, particularly the Knabe grand in the picture and a Yamaha grand nearby. There are two Knabe’s on eBay right now in similar condition for near $8k and they are only 5’6″. The one in the picture is bigger and worth more money. The Steinway upright I saw also had market value.
This was a colossal blunder. But you won’t ever hear that from a spokesman.