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Connecticut schools receive $150 million to upgrade air filtration systems

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Business Wire
/
AP

Schools in Connecticut will get $150 million to upgrade their outdated air filtration systems from a grant program created this year.

School districts can apply for grants to repair, replace or upgrade any part of their heating, cooling and ventilation systems. Governor Ned Lamont said the Legislature can inject more money into the program if needed.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic proved that modern ventilation systems are vital for school safety.

"Every teacher, every parent was saying, 'Tell me about the ventilation in my schools, can they get back to my school safely?'" Lamont said at Philip R. Smith Elementary School in South Windsor, where officials announced the pilot program. "And it just reinforced in my mind how important it is to make sure you have schools that are safe.”

State Senator Dr. Saud Anwar, a pulmonary physician, helped set up the program.

"According to some of the numbers, about 10% of the student population and 10% of the teacher population may have asthma and allergies, and indoor air makes their respiratory problems worse," Anwar said. "In some of the communities, these numbers are much higher.”

Half the funding will come from the state’s bond funds and the other half from Connecticut's share of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

School districts can apply for a grant through December 1. Priority will go schools that are more than 20 years old.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.