COVID-relief funding eyed for HVAC improvements, additional air conditioning in schools – Press and Guide

Dearborn Public Schools is setting aside much of the COVID relief money to improve air treatment in schools and hopes to add or expand air conditioning in several buildings.

At the Board of Education meeting on September 13, 2021, trustees approved two architecture contracts to plan to improve the district’s HVAC infrastructure and address capacity.

These projects include, but are not limited to, improving air quality in schools, adding air conditioning, upgrading electrical systems, improving windows and replacing water heaters.

The district estimates it will pay $3 million to Integrated Design Solutions over the next few years to help design HVAC solutions in the district.

Another estimated $1 million will be used for French and Associates to look into the renovation of two buildings at Henry Ford College, used for district programs, including classrooms, offices and adult education.

The planning and renovations will be largely funded with COVID resources. The money will come directly from ESSERS III and indirectly from money the district was able to save by using past COVID relief programs to cover some expenses, said Thomas Wall, executive director of business services and operations.

O.L. Smith Middle School in Dearborn. (File photo)

Funding from ESSERS — the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund — can only be spent on items in a dozen categories related to the pandemic. Improving heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is an eligible expense.

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