Morenci school board 7.10

Written by David Green.

Morenci Area Schools will try out a private cleaning service in an effort to trim costs.

When custodian Howard Tew retires at the end of July, C&D Cleaning of Camden will begin cleaning the high school. The company will be given an one-month trial period that could lead to a one-year contract.

Five bids were received for the work and references were checked for each.

“C&D had the most positive remarks from reference checks,” said school finance director Erica Metcalf.

The district should save at least $15,000 the first year, she said, but added, “We want to make sure it’s the right fit.”

Savings will be due largely to the absence of health insurance coverage and retirement pay.

Superintendent of Schools Kyle Griffith said hiring a private firm isn’t the direction he wants to take, but continuing budget problems force the district to look at cost-saving options.

The positive side of the move is that it only involves the high school, he said.

“We’ve worked closely with the union on it and we’re not eliminating anyone,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to give it a shot.”

Tew is also involved in some maintenance projects that won’t be covered by the cleaning service, but Griffith intends to hire Kevin Wilson to do miscellaneous jobs when needed.

“He’s done a lot of work on a volunteer basis over the years,” Griffith said, by helping his wife, Lori, who serves as the elementary school custodian.

Griffith considers the Wilson position similar to a substitute teacher—hired when needed but not part of the school staff.

Athletic director Tim Kruse is expected to continue handling some maintenance duties and will be given athletic scheduling assistance from Joe Farquhar...

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