As the CDC shifts its recommendations and schoolchildren are no longer required to wear masks in many parts of the country, questions remain about how aging school infrastructure can support the health and safety needs–including air quality–that accompany reduced precautions.
The March 2021 American Rescue Plan brought widespread economic aid to address such issues, with $122.8 billion specifically earmarked for K-12 districts, but this funding has an expiration date. How can school districts best act now to create healthier schools and repair crumbling infrastructure before the first round of funding expires in September 2022?
Many school districts nationwide have been using stimulus dollars to rethink infrastructure, classroom design, and building upgrades. According to the U.S. Department of Education, one of the most popular uses of federal funding has been repairing school facilities, especially ventilation systems, to improve air quality and reduce the spread of Covid-19.
This may be the first time they’ve had access to this sort of capital in years, so prioritizing the right upgrades and investments at the outset will be vital to maximizing the initial impact of new technology and systems.
Improving air quality systems is priority #1
The pandemic has underscored the importance of increased airflow and circulation within buildings to mitigate any spread of bacteria. An upgraded ventilation system increases Covid safety by creating a steady current of airflow that removes a portion of aerosols from the air.