The state of Connecticut is awarding $56 million in grants for public schools to make upgrades to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
The grants are being awarded through the HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants Program for Public Schools, a newly established state program. These $56 million in grants represent the first round of funding released through this program.
The program has been allocated $150 million through two revenue streams: $75 million from state bond funding and $75 million from the state’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Examples of eligible projects include:
- 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; and
- Other similar work approved by the commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.
Waterbury received the most total grants, worth $15.9 million for eight elementary school projects. The Region 18 School District in Lyme and Old Lyme, which received $12 million. Seven other school districts — Stamford, Fairfield, Ellington, Coventry, Guilford, Oxford and Region 10 — received between $1 million and $6 million.
Public school districts throughout Connecticut have already received more than $165 million to support HVAC upgrades since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Gov. Ned Lamont's office says.
“One thing the COVID-19 pandemic exposed is that many school buildings, 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."