20 Aug 2014
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Quick Hits: School Board Extends Custodial Contract

Proposed changes to the new contract are projected to save the Birmingham district an additional $160,000 during the course of the contract.

Quick Hits: School Board Extends Custodial Contract

The Birmingham Board of Education met Tuesday night, extending the contract for the district's custodial workers while receiving construction updates from the summer construction season.

Only have time for the quick hits? Here's a rundown of what happened during Tuesday's meeting:

Board extends custodial contract, praises savings

Birmingham Board of Education members voted to extend the district's custodial contract with GCA Services Group Inc. As part of the extended contract:

  • A reduction in health insurance costs will save the district approximately $63,886 during the course of the contract. Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Debbie Piesz said the district plans to put that money toward retaining current employees and reducing staff turnover.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase has been capped at 1 percent for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, while the board then approved a 0.86 percent increase annually for fiscal years ending in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This is estimated to save the district an additional $100,000 during the next several years (depending on the actual CPI).
  • Includes two one-year extensions for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Birmingham schools contracted out its custodial services three years ago, a move that saved the district nearly $3 million during the first year, Superintendent David Larson said.

Trustee Robert Lawrence noted that everything that was promised when custodial services were first contracted out have come to pass. "The savings have been very substantial," he said. "And all those dollars go back into the classroom."

Also approved Tuesday night: seat time waiver, superintendent review

  • Board members voted to approve a seat time waiver from the Michigan Department of Education, effectively allowing to provide a combination of online and in-class instruction for a group of 17 students with unique schedule obligations outside school. This is the first time Birmingham has experimented with this kind of curriculum, and Assistant Superintendent Paul DeAngelis said the move will allow the district to expand its online learning program. Larson, however, noted this case is special and the district isn't obligated to provide such a setup for any student who requests it.
  • The board voted to accept Larson's annual superintendent evaluation for the 2010-11 school year, as well as recognized the services by the late Cynthia Naski, the retired West Maple teacher who passed away Aug. 19.

Up for discussion: construction update

School board members also heard a report on the district's summer construction projects, including:

  • Carpet replacement and painting in 30 classrooms in each high school
  • Locker upgrades at , and high schools.
  • New asphalt at , , and
  • Installation of new freight elevators at Seaholm and Derby
  • Upgrades to the Groves concession stand
  • HVAC upgrades at Birmingham Covington School and
  • External paint at Derby

Steve King, the district's manager of operations, said the first day of school went great for the operations crew, noting that several of the construction projects solved several longstanding issues at the schools. All the money to pay for the projects came from the 1997 bond issue and the district's Building and Site Fund.

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