Forest Grove School District will pay nearly $1.2 million for janitorial services in 2013-14

Bathrooms will stay clean and entryways shiny on Forest Grove campuses next year thanks to a contract extension approved by the school board Monday night.

But it will cost the local school district $1,170,091 million for the 2013-14 academic year — $34,080 more than in 2012-13 — to keep janitors pushing brooms, waxing floors and freshening sinks.

Board members gave the green light to a one-year extension of the district's existing custodial services contract with Maryland-based Sodexo America LLC, which also provides food services to the 5,800-student district.

A provision in the existing contract, which expires June 30, allows the extension, said district Business Manager Mike Schofield. This year, the district is paying Sodexo $1,136,010 for custodial services.

"Technically we should be going out to bid on that work," Schofield said Monday morning. "But we're so late in the game I asked the board if we could go another year with the existing contract."

Board vice-chairman John Hayes said that after bringing the new Joseph Gale Elementary School online this year — coupled with the addition of a new science wing and gymnasium at Forest Grove High School — board members were amenable to the quick fix.

"We'll give it to Sodexo next year," Hayes said, but after that the board will want district officials will shop around.

"We're going to check with other districts about what they pay," added Hayes. "When you spend $1 million out of a $50 million budget, that sounds like a lot of money."

It's even possible the district will take custodial services in-house. "Who knows?" Hayes said. "But then we'd have to pay PERS [Public Employees Retirement System] costs."

Sodexo has provided custodial services to the Forest Grove district since July 1999. The 3 percent adjustment board members agreed to for next year addresses increased costs — including negotiated salary hikes — incurred by Sodexo as a result of the company's labor pact with its custodial union, Schofield said.

According to the new agreement, the district will pay custodians an hourly rate of $16.53 and an overtime hourly rate of $25.05 next year.

Overall, custodial services will cost the district $97,508 per month.

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