May 21, 2024

Connecticut Dedicates more than $120 Million to Improving School Air Quality

About $122 million in state support will fund heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades at public schools across Connecticut under a series of grants announced Monday by the Department of Administrative Services.

The funding stems from a program established under budget adjustment legislation passed in 2022 and follows roughly $56 million released last year during the first round of grants.

The projects, which require matching funds from municipalities where the school projects are located, range from replacing or upgrading HVAC components like air conditioning units or boilers to installing new control units.

Before administering this year’s grants, the Department of Administrative Services conducted district outreach efforts, which led to an increase in the number of grants awarded. The agency sent roughly 54% of this year’s funding to school districts that fell beneath Connecticut’s median wealth level as measured by the State Department of Education.

“The DAS team worked diligently to make improvements to the program over the past year, which is illustrated by the fact that we are awarding more than twice as much in grant funding to more than twice as many schools in the second round,” Administrative Services Commissioner Michelle Gilman said in a press release.

Sen. Julie Kushner, a Danbury Democrat who served as co-chair of the state Indoor Air Quality Task Force, applauded this year’s funding, saying it would enhance learning and teaching environments across Connecticut.

“More than $100 million will make a real difference. However, we’re not done,” Kushner said. ”The Working Group on Indoor Air Quality in Public Schools has been renewed through 2030. Our goal is to ensure every student in Connecticut has the opportunity to learn in ideal classroom conditions.”

Here is a full list of the grants announced Monday: