(The Center Square) – Connecticut public schools would be able to pay for upgrades to heating, cooling and ventilation systems in legislation proposed by Gov. Ned Lamont.
The first-term Democrat announcement the bill that would create and fund a grant program that would need $90 million to kick off the project to help schools make upgrades in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed is that many school buildings across our state, especially those over a certain age, are in serious need of air quality improvements,” Lamont said in a statement. “Some people may mistakenly think that heating and cooling systems are only about temperature control, but modernized ventilation systems provide an important public health function that filters the air and reduces airborne contaminants in the air. air, including virus-containing particles.I urge lawmakers to approve this proposal so that we can begin releasing funds for school districts and making these much-needed HVAC upgrades.
Lamont said American Rescue Plan Act funds would be used to start the program. He said the initial allocated funding would set the agenda and additional funding would be invested as needed, according to the statement.
The bill is currently being reviewed by the Education Committee. The program, the statement said, would be administered by the Department of Administrative Services and would require cities and towns to provide matching grants to fund projects.
Eligible projects would include the replacement, upgrade or repair of boilers and other heating and ventilation components, as well as the replacement of controls and technology related to heating and cooling systems. Additionally, eligible projects would be the installation or upgrade of air conditioning and ventilation systems, and other similar work approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services.
Lamont, according to the release, directed the department to establish the program with the state Department of Education, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and Department of Public Health.