CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — In a move designed to save Chesterfield County Schools $1.5 million, school leaders voted to outsource custodial services to eight Chesterfield schools to a company called GCA Services Group. GCA began to clean schools like Swift Creek Elementary and Manchester High School on July 14.
Recently however, concerns have been raised about GCA’s past hires and present performance.
Earlier this year, GCA Education Services employed a custodian who police later arrested for using a crawl space above a girls’ restroom at a Tennessee school to spy on students, according to a report in the Chesterfield Observer.
When asked if he was concerned about the incident, Chesterfield County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Business and Fiance Andy Hawkins said school safety was the number one priority for school leaders.
“GCA goes through the same background checks that Chesterfield County Public Schools has on its employees,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also addressed concerns that several schools assigned to GCA were not being cleaned quickly enough and would not be ready for students when classes resumed on Tuesday.
“I have received a comment from maybe two principals who are concerned with the process on whether or not we were going to make it on time,” Hawkins said. He added he believed GCA had done a good job getting schools ready for students given the limited amount of time they have had on the job.
“You have to remember the enormity of the project they took on,” he said. “We have 1.2 million square feet in less than five weeks, six weeks time. They started off with no employees.”
In emails obtained by CBS 6, some school workers were concerned about stairwells not being swept or scrubbed and restrooms not being equipped with proper hand sanitizer.
“We are putting in the hand towel and soap dispensers,” Hawkins said. “All of those things are being put in this
Russell Leboff, Regional Vice President of Sales for GCA Services Group, attended Tuesday’s School Board Meeting. He refused to address the concerns or answer questions on camera. He said he would answer questions emailed directly to him. Those questioned remained unanswered at the time of publication.
His responses will be included in this story once his answers are received.