School Board contracting out janitorial at two schools

Deidre Cruse

Janitorial services for the parish's two largest schools will be handled by a private contractor to save more than $90,000 a year, the Iberville Parish School Board decided in a 10-2 vote Monday night.

The board took Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr.’s recommendation to hire Associated Building Services to handle all janitorial services at 200,000-square-foot Plaquemine High School and the almost 120,000-square-foot Iberville Math, Science for $228,000 a year and Arts Academy-West for $150,000 a year.

“No one is losing a job,” Dr. Cancienne told the board.

“You can't promise us that they're going to hire locally,” Board Member Darlene Ourso of White Castle said.

Ourso and Board Member Dorothy R. Sansoni of Plaquemine were the only two to vote against the privatization plan, one of the recommendations of the Buildings and Grounds Committee headed by Brian S. Willis of Plaquemine.

Board Member Pam George of Grosse Tete abstained from the vote; Michael “Chief” Barbee of Plaquemine was recorded as not voting, and Michael J. Hebert Jr. was absent from the meeting.

According to Project Manager Patrick Norris, contracting the services out will cost at least $93,000 less than having it done by School Board-hired personnel. The savings includes $65,000 in labor and supplies at Plaquemine High School, and at least $28,000 at MSA-West. Norris expected savings at the MSA to be higher once the cost of all supplies was included.

The contracts cover all equipment and supplies, as well as labor costs, Norris said. He said the companies would provide daily cleaning services during the school year plus a summer floor care program.

Also Monday, the School Board approved the transfers of five members of the janitorial staff to other schools.