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Virginia earmarks $500 million to improve air quality, HVAC systems in schools

Aug. 2, 2021
The funding will enable districts in the state to complete most of the HVAC upgrades called for in capital improvement plans.

Virginia plans to spend $500 million to improve ventilation and air quality in public schools.

The state will allocate $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for necessary ventilation upgrades; that will be matched by local ARP or other relief funding. The funding infusion will enable schools in Virginia to complete nearly all planned HVAC projects, according to a news release from Gov. Ralph Northam's office. 

“Air quality is a key part of maintaining safe and healthy learning environments for our students across the Commonwealth,” says Northam. “This investment will help families, educators, and students feel more confident about the quality of the air they breathe as we return to in-person learning five days a week this fall.”

In a recent report to the state's Commission on School Construction and Modernization, the Virginia Department of Education analyzed 117 capital improvement plans from school systems. HVAC repair and replacement accounted for 463 projects at an estimated  cost of $623 million.

Funding will be allocated to school districts based on their average daily membership, with a minimum allocation of $200,000 per district.

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