By Bailey Campagna —

Weeks after The Cardinal reported the shortage, U of L now plans to hire new custodians after a university-wide hiring freeze left 25 positions empty.

“The university’s proposal for hiring additional staff includes 29 new custodians,” U of L Spokesperson John Karman said. He said this will include custodians assigned to the new academic building and SAC wing when they open fall 2018.

“The university plans to hire 15 custodians in the next few weeks, two later this spring and the final 13 when the new campus buildings open,” Karman said.

U of L had 175 custodians two years ago. With 29 new hires, the number will be 179 when the new buildings open.

“We believe this to be an appropriate staffing level,” Karman said.

Interim Chief Operating Officer Lee Smith said he decided to hire more staff after consulting with Associate Vice President for Facilities Management James Sears.

“A recent review showed that our custodial staffing levels have been disproportionately impacted by hiring restrictions over the past year,” Smith said.

Karman said this is because custodians have a higher turnover rate than other units at the university.

Smith said bringing in more custodians will ensure the university’s workspaces are appropriately maintained in the future.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal