Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam committed $250 million of state reserve funds to improve ventilation and air quality in public schools, as part of an effort to complete nearly all planned HVAC projects in schools across the state. The Commonwealth is allocating $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding for necessary ventilation upgrades, which will be matched by local ARP or other relief funding. A minimum of $200,000 will be allotted to each school district.
We are spotlighting this practice because updating ventilation and improving air quality is a long-term solution that will keep facilities safer. This will be particularly important if new variants of COVID continue to emerge but also will help protect against other airborne illnesses that could disrupt learning in the future.