By Brian Garris
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – On June 6, 2014, Camden County College’s Board of Trustees voted to let go of the school janitorial staff in an effort to save money. Soon after, Meridian Property Services took over most of the janitorial and groundskeeping duties for the college. Since then, Meridian has gotten mixed opinions about the quality of the service.
It has been roughly a year and a half since the Meridian takeover, and day-to-day activities at the school have been moving along as they always have. However, this was not the case during the first few months of the Meridian contract. Complaints of poorly cleaned offices and bathrooms were being reported during this time.
Facilities Director Lenny Cinaglia attributed this to an adjustment period as the contractors familiarized themselves with the intricacies that go into properly caring for a college campus. “After the learning curve, things started improving,” Cinaglia said.
Improvements began after a number of complaints made their way to Faculty Association President Domenic Priolo, to whom faculty and staff voice their concerns and opinions.
When asked what came of these complaints, Priolo wrote, “As a result of the complaints, I requested that someone from Meridian be present at our monthly meeting with the president of the college. At this meeting I articulated all of the problems we were having with their services. They assured me that they would do better.”
This first meeting that included Meridian took place in May 2015, 11 months after the start of Meridian’s services at CCC.
Since the start of these meetings, a noticeable difference has been made in the quality of service provided to the college. Bathrooms are being kept clean on a regular basis and fewer complaints are being made about the care of faculty offices.
Along with the complaints, some Meridian workers have received compliments. Cinaglia commended the “flawless boiler operations in Camden and Blackwood,” and Rich Levine, general manager of the Connector Building’s cafeteria, credited Meridian employee Frank Bretweiser for amazing service on a daily basis.