The State College Area school board on Monday voted unanimously to approve Domino’s as the delivered pizza provider for elementary students for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, beginning Oct. 15.
The decision comes after the board, acting upon the recommendation of Superintendent Bob O’Donnell and Business Manager Randy Brown, voted 5-4 at its Sept. 12 meeting to cancel the bid award for Papa John’s and to seek a new provider.
The recommendation was made, O’Donnell said, because racially tinged remarks made by the national pizza chain’s former CEO and chairman went against the district’s Climate and Inclusive Excellence Policy.
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“This truly relates to relationships within our community,” O’Donnell said at the Sept. 12 meeting. “We’ve been really trying to improve relationships with our community, and that means everyone in the community. And I really believe that if we do this, for this time period only, that would help.”
The contract with the franchise, however, will be reopen for consideration at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
The original contract with Papa John’s was approved in a 5-4 vote during the Aug. 13 meeting, with a built-in 31-day period to cancel. After the Sept. 12 decision, the Food Services department led a process to collect new price quotes from vendors, excluding Papa John’s.
Brown told the board Monday that although the district reached out via email and phone to 15 different local pizza vendors, Domino’s was the only that responded to the Request for Proposal.
Production, capability, nutrition and delivery time frame were all considerations built into the RFP, according to Brown. As only one vendor responded, there was no need for a blind taste test with students.
The delivered cost per cheese pizza is $6, with the total annual expenditure estimated at $54,000, according to to the district.