TEXAS CITY — College of the Mainland’s board of trustees approved keeping the facility, grounds and maintenance services operations in house, rather than outsourcing the positions.
The college received three bids to outsource the maintenance work. While the college could have saved about $128,000 by selecting the top bid, trustees decided to keep the work within the college.
Trustees unanimously approved the move with Trustees Wayne Miles, Ralph Holm, Bennie Matthews, Nick Stepchinski and Board Chairman Roney McCrary voting for it. Trustees Rosalie Kettler and Rachel Delgado were absent from Monday’s meeting.
Three companies submitted proposals: SCC, Federal Building Services Inc. and Comfort Systems. Houston-based SCC’s bid was deemed the best, according to the college. The company offered to do the work for about $2.8 million annually — about $128,154 less than what it would cost to keep the work in house, according to the college.
Stepchinski said that while the board tries to do what they can to stretch taxpayers’ dollars as far as they could go, the savings from outsourcing would be minimal and keeping the college’s employees would be better for the college and the community.
Even after the college reviewed the options and talked to other institutions, Stepchinski said questions remained on how well outsourcing could work and what control, if any, the college would retain over the facility, grounds and maintenance operations employees.
“We’re glad it turned out like it did,” Stepchinski said about keeping the department in house. “We’ve done our due diligence, so we are happy we are going to keep our employees.”
The idea of outsourcing the department has been discussed for the past two years and as employees retired or left the college they were not replaced, said college President Beth Lewis.
There are nine people in its maintenance staff and to get back to full force, the college will need to hire about 25 new people during the next three years, she said.
The college will also get better service by keeping the jobs in house, Lewis said.
“There is a sense of loyalty,” Lewis said. “There is a sense that when people work here, they are going to be more loyal. They are going to have more of their heart in it.”