Farmington Schools trustees approve $7M janitorial contract

Farmington Schools trustees on Tuesday approved a $7.4 million, three-year janitorial services contract that’s designed to improve the cleanliness of district buildings.

Superintendent Dr. Bob Herrera said that when he came to the district last year, he heard a lot of discussion about the quality of services from contractor D.M. Burr. He heard not only from staff in buildings, but also from trustees.

“As we talked, we realized it was more to do with structure than the vendor,” he said.

Jennifer F. Kaminski, ​Assistant Superintendent, Business Services, said a request for 2020-2021 proposals included changes to how workers are supervised, an increase in hourly wage to reduce turnover, and “additional performance measures that will address quality issues.“

”These three factors we hope will improve the services we receive moving forward,” she said.

The $7,413,660 bid from GRBS (Grand Rapids Building Services) was more than $150,000 lower than D.M. Burr’s $7,567,522. Answering board questions, Kaminski said that the district had not directly contacted GRBS references, but based on longevity of its contracts with other districts, “obviously they’re happy with their services.”

Trustee Terri Weems asked whether a one-year contract had been considered to limit the district’s exposure. Kaminsky said provisions in the contract allow early termination.

Herrera said the contract isn’t finalized, and the district still has time to do more detailed reference checks.

According to its website, GRBS services over 30 million square feet in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana with over 1,300 employees. The company has locations in Grand Rapids, Portage, Plymouth, and Birmingham.