That sounds a lot like the setup I inherited in the school library at one of my former employers: an island of low-view desks (the ones with glass panes in the top and monitors beneath) with 12 ultra-cheap self-build PCs and CRT monitors, plus a mono laser and a colour laser printer on a table at one end, powered via a daisy-chain of 4-way power bars which all went back to a single bar with a very long cable that went under the carpet to a socket on the wall.
I discovered this arrangement a month or two into the school year when the mornings started to get colder and the big whack of power drawn by the cold PCs & monitors as they started up began to cause the 30A circuit breaker on the ring-main to trip. We used to fire them up by scheduled Wake-on-LAN so that they were ready for use at the start of the school day (they took ages to boot - WinXP in 128MB RAM). Although there was a short delay from waking one PC to the next, it wasn't enough to allow them to finish booting and warm up the monitors so they drew less power.
On complaining about the arrangement to the management and asking that proper dedicated circuits be installed, I was rebuffed on the basis that the school site team included a qualified electrician who said that it was fine and that therefore the fault must be with the computers. I was told to stick to my area of expertise and do my job which was to "sort out the problem with the computers". (In case you were wondering, I didn't stay there very long.)
I ended up having to start the power-up sequence at about 4:30am and allow 15 minutes for each machine to get going to (mostly) prevent circuit trips. It was generally fine as long as nobody got in early and woke one of the printers or the photocopier which was on the same ring-main before the computers had all fired up.