NEW ALBANY — A new custodial-services company was hired by the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.’s board of trustees at Monday’s meeting.
Facilities Management Services, Inc. was awarded a three-year contract worth $7.95 million by the board in a unanimous vote. The administration’s presentation assured the board they’d learned a few lessons from the last custodial contract they negotiated with Sodexo in October 2011.
Brad Snyder, deputy superintendent, told the board that while the savings they’ll realize through FMS aren’t as much as they were with Sodexo’s initial offering, it’s still cheaper than bringing custodial services back in-house.
“The idea of utilizing the services of private-sector service contractors, the idea that did not work is false,” Snyder said. “Simply put... if the initial math of our relationship with Sodexo would have been better, then we would not be discussing this topic tonight. We had a successful working partnership as well as an amicable separation with Sodexo.”
He said while Sodexo came back again with the lowest bid of the five companies that submitted proposals, the administration’s recommendation was not based on price alone.
Snyder said the district took a “less rigid” approach to negotiating terms with FMS in their services, but he said the level of cleanliness in the schools will not deteriorate because of it.
Fred McWhorter, chief business officer, said while bringing the services in-house was still an option, it would cost the district about $3.18 million annually. The contract with FMS would cost about $2.65 million.
The 38 remaining employees grandfathered at their pay rates when Sodexo took over operations would retain their pay with FMS. Those hourly rates range from $9.24 to $17.01 per hour.
Bill Wiseheart, director of facilities, said he believes FMS starts its pay at $9 per hour, but wasn’t sure. By keeping current employees at their pay rates, Wiseheart said the district would pay more than $214,000 if they all transferred over. That price, he said, was figured into the contract language, but savings would be realized if any of those employees didn’t go with FMS.