On Apr. 3, Sodexo will be taking over the cleaning services for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Cleaning was previously managed by ABM, and this change has come as a result of the university’s contract with ABM expiring. According to state law, the university had to allow for other companies to make a proposal to take over the contract.
Scott Hebert, director of the Office of Facility Management, explained that the university received offers from several different companies. These were then reviewed and interviewed by a selection committee made up of five members from the university. Eventually, the committee decided to award the contract to Sodexo.
“Based upon their proposal, their interview, all the criteria that was in the selection committee, they came up with a ranking system or a scorecard,” Hebert said. “And basically each of the different selection committee members scored independently their thoughts on the proposals that were put out.”
Rob McPherson, assistant director of contracts and construction, further explained how these companies were scored.
“It’s based on a point system on just literally the way the proposal looks, the cost of their proposal, their plan of action, all of those have a point system and they total it up at the end and again, Sodexo had the best score,” McPherson said.
Sodexo will be handling the cleaning for every academic and athletic building on campus, as well as clean-up for home sporting events. Housing and the Student Union are handled separately by in-house housekeepers employed by the university, and litter pickup and lawn care are handled by a separate contractor.
According to Hebert, members of the university are hopeful that the change in contractor will be a boon for the campus.
“The response back that we’ve heard from various faculty, staff, students is that change is needed. And they’re optimistic, just like we are, that this new provider coming in will kind of breathe new life into the cleanliness of campus,” Hebert said.
Hebert added that the parameters of this contract were written taking into account feedback from students and faculty.
“The contract scope was written and created and basically evolved during this process was that we listened to the concerns of all the students, faculty and staff of things that were either not included in the contract previously or not getting done,” Hebert said. “We’ve actually put those in writing in the scope to a point where we can enforce that these things will get done in the future.”
One of the examples cited was that in the previous contract, ABM wouldn’t clean anything over six feet high to limit liability. Sodexo, conversely, will be required to, meaning that they’ll be cleaning things such as cobwebs.
The contract also ensures that things like trash pickup, vacuuming, mopping and sweeping are done on a set schedule.
Hebert is hopeful that students will notice a difference in the level of campus cleanliness by the Fall semester.
“There’s going to be a transition period to get them acclimated as to what the concerns are, what our needs are, how many people they need at a building, all that good stuff,” Hebert said. “I think it’s safe to say by the end of the semester or the beginning of the summer, when students come back in for the fall, following fall semester there should be a drastic difference in the way that campus looks.”