Custodial Service

  • 39.5 percent of districts contract out for custodial services (217 out of 549).
  • 46 districts privatized custodial services within the past year.

Custodial service contracting surpassed food contracting this year to become the single most commonly privatized service. Since 2003, the portion of districts employing privatized custodians grew by an astounding 500 percent, and the growth has accelerated in recent years.

Graphic 4: Districts Contracting Custodial Service

Graphic 4: Districts Contracting Custodial Service - click to enlarge

Graphic 5

Districts new to custodial service contracting


West Bloomfield School District

$2.8 million over 3 years

Lake Orion Community Schools


Northville Public Schools


Southgate Community Schools


Byron Center Public Schools


Belding Area Schools


Holt Public Schools


Berrien Springs Public Schools


North Branch Area Schools


Parchment School District


Flat Rock Community Schools


Mio-Ausable Schools


Rudyard Area Schools


Hastings School District


Gaylord Community Schools


Suttons Bay Public Schools


Hesperia Community Schools


St. Joseph Public Schools


Hartford Public Schools


Hale Area Schools


Comstock Park Public Schools


Essexville-Hampton Public Schools


Port Hope Community Schools


Mattawan Consolidated School


East China School District

14% per worker

Parma Western School District


Rogers City Area Schools


Birch Run Area Schools


Bridgman Public School District


Westwood Community School District


Ewen-Trout Creek Schools


Ionia Public Schools


Morley Stanwood Community Schools


Muskegon Heights Public Schools


Redford South Redford School District


Saginaw City School District


Shelby Public Schools


Spring Lake Public Schools


Swartz Creek Community Schools


Vanderbilt Area Schools


Berrien Springs Public Schools saved roughly $112 per student, and $240,500 overall, by contracting with Enviro-Clean for its custodians; it reported satisfaction with its vendor.

After realizing substantial savings through privatizing its transportation services last year, Northville Public Schools in Wayne County outsourced its custodians this year. A new contract with Grand Rapids Building Services is expected to save the district $800,000 per year. Northville now reports satisfaction with both the custodial and transportation private workers.

Gaylord Community Schools, in the northern Lower Peninsula, also chose to contract with GRBS for its custodial services this past year. Even after accounting for retirement and unemployment costs, the district saved $100,000 this past year, and expects to save a total of roughly $1 million over three years. This represents the first privatizing of a major support service by Gaylord, though the district has contracted out for technology services for several years.

Comstock Park Public Schools outsourced its custodial services to Grand Rapids Building Services this past year, primarily for financial savings. The district expects to save $20,000 on the first year of the contract even after taking unemployment payouts into account. In the long run, the district projects savings of $100,000 next year alone thanks to privatization.

Hastings School District, in Barry County, chose Key Cleaning to provide and manage custodians for the district. This is expected to save the district $118,480 per year;
a 16.9 percent decrease in the cost of the service. The district contracted primarily for savings, and also reports satisfaction with the quality of the privatized service.

North Branch Area Schools, in the Thumb, outsourced its custodial services to Hi-Tec, Inc. The district reports savings of $232,000 in the first year, as well as satisfaction with the vendor.

After several years of satisfaction with privatized food service, the Parchment School District chose to contract with DM Burr for its custodians this year. Over the 11 months which the new custodians will work per year, the district predicts savings of $210,800 from providing the service in-house.

St. Joseph Public Schools in Berrien County reported savings of $10,000 on each new custodial employee hired through Enviro-Clean. They have already hired three Enviro-Clean workers, report satisfaction with the privatized service and plan to continue privatizing their staff through attrition over the coming years.