Illinois district will spend $5.15 million to upgrade HVAC system at junior high

April 16, 2021
Chiddix Junior High in Normal, Ill., has been plagued with significant humidity problems.

The McLean County (Ill.) School District No. 5 will spend $5.15 million to upgrade the heating and cooling system at Chiddix Junior High in Normal.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that the school facility has been plagued with severe humidity problems, causing facilities staff at times to run more than 40 dehumidifiers at once.

"We continue to have mold issues; we continue to have just a variety of inefficiencies at that school that are to the point where we can’t manage those,” says Mike Trask, a member of the board and the facilities committee. “We have to make this fix and we have to make it right now.”

The improvements at Chiddix include the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Board President Amy Roser says the board did not take the decision lightly to allocate funds for the upgrades, “particularly given the economic times that many in our county are currently facing. But we looked also at the health life and safety and the conditions of our kids in a particular school that needed a better environment to learn, and we did prioritize that.”

The district also plans to use federal Covid relief funding for indoor air quality improvement. That will include the installation of bipolar ionization technology, which has been shown to reduce the community spread of infectious disease.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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