Today, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) and State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) welcomed this week's announcement that Governor Ned Lamont's administration will award Region District 18 schools with $12.009 million through the HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants Program for Public Schools to improve air filtration and quality. This is part of a $56 million grant release to school systems across the state.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School will receive $6.24 million, the Lyme-Old Lyme Center School will receive $2.719 million and the Lyme-Old Lyme Consolidated School will receive $3.051 million for HVAC upgrades. The funds can be used for replacing, upgrading or repairing boilers and other heating/ventilation components; replacing controls and technology systems for HVAC operations; installing or upgrading air conditioning or ventilation systems; or other work approved by the Department of Administrative Services.

"Our students cannot thrive when they're breathing in low-quality air," said Sen. Marx. "If you can't take a deep breath of healthy air, you can't learn to the best of your ability. Low air quality can have negative impacts on student health and well-being. Teachers and faculty cannot effectively help students learn without a clean, healthy environment either. This will benefit their health as well. I'm thankful the Lamont Administration is investing in the health and futures of our students."

"Last year, when elected officials approved legislation making adjustments to the state budget, we did so knowing that this funding would be included, and that it would directly benefit students around the state," said Sen. Needleman. "I'm very encouraged that it will aid students in Lyme and Old Lyme. I'm grateful to Governor Lamont for investing in our community."

The grants program, administered by the state Department of Administrative Services, was created as part of the budget adjustment bill passed by lawmakers and signed into law in the spring of 2022. The law further requires schools to inspect and evaluate HVAC systems every five years, requires these reports to be made public, and requires the reporting of any corrective action taken.