The state of Connecticut is allocating $150 million toward a new grant program supporting upgrades for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the state's public schools.
The grants will supplement more than $165 million that schools have already committed for air filtration improvements since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The earlier funding came from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says in a news release that he has created the state grant program to ensure that schools have a dedicated source of funding to support additional infrastructure upgrades, noting that the pandemic exposed a significant need to have modernized air filtration units in schools.
“One thing the Covid-19 pandemic showed is that many school buildings in our state, particularly those that are of a certain age, are in serious need of air quality improvements,” Lamont says. “Modernized ventilation systems provide an important public health function that filtrate the air and reduce airborne contaminants, including particles containing viruses. Most important, these air filtration systems will help ensure that our students can continue receiving their education in-person, in the classroom, where they learn best.”
The Connecticut Public Schools HVAC/Indoor Air Quality Grant Program is being administered by the Office of School Construction Grants and Review, an office within the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services.
Applications from school districts must be submitted to the state by Dec. 1. Municipalities will be required to provide matching grants to help cover the project costs.
Examples of eligible projects:
- Replacing, upgrading, or repairing boilers and other heating and ventilation components
- Replacing controls and technology systems related to HVAC operations
- Installing or upgrading air conditioning or ventilation systems
- Other similar work approved by the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.
Distribution of the grants will be prioritized based on:
- Age and condition of the existing HVAC system or equipment being replaced or upgraded in the school;
- Existing air quality issues at the school
- Age and condition of the overall school building
- School district’s master plan
- Availability of maintenance records
- A contract or plans for the routine maintenance and cleaning of the HVAC system
- The local or regional school board or regional educational service center’s ability to finance the remainder of the costs for such project after receiving a grant under the program.
YouTube video of governor's announcement: