City school workers rush to clean buildings

Memphis City Schools workers were busy Tuesday making a clean sweep to ensure your child will enter a clean classroom next week.

You'll recall earlier this summer, the district decided not to contract out maintenance work.

The biggest challenge so far is the sheer volume of work. Nearly 200 buildings and less then three weeks to clean them, after the district pulled the plug on a private custodial contract.

Longview Middle School Principal Corey Harris said, "What we've seen are dedicated employees who take pride in the buildings being ready for the kids, and they've just overcome the situation." A situation where the District's 1200 member custodial staff had less than three weeks to clean nearly 200 buildings.

Recently, the Memphis City School Board went through a bitter battle over which private company to hire to do custodial work. In the end, the deal fell through and the District chose to take over.

"We feel that we can do it cheaper and be more efficient and effective," said District Human Resources Director Michael Goar

So far the system seems to be working. Aside from a dozen buildings under renovation, District officials say they're on track to open clean schools for students.

"I'm not going to expect or accept anything less, but it does take time," Said MCS board member Sara Lewis. "Even Rome wasn't built in a day, nor was it cleaned in a day."

But Board Member say they'll keep a close watch to make sure the halls where students will roam are clean by Monday.

"I am perfectly comfortable reporting back to the Commissioners about the status of it," Goar Said. "Because I'm confident we will be able to share successes as opposed to failures."

Aramark-Servicemaster held the District custodial contract for 11-years, but the company came under fire when mold started growing at East High School and other problems appeared.