Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

July 10, 2024

Contact: Joe O’Leary | | 508-479-4969July 10, 2024


Today, East Hartford leaders including State Senator Saud AnwarState Representative Jeff Currey, East Hartford Superintendent Thomas Anderson and Kate Tchelidze, Chief of Staff for Mayor Connor Martin, joined together at East Hartford High School to celebrate just over $700,000 in state grants that East Hartford schools will receive for air quality improvements in two local schools. East Hartford High School and Pitkin Elementary School will each receive hundreds of thousands of dollars to support upgrades to HVAC equipment, improving air quality and benefitting public health and comfort for the school communities.
“We spend 90% of our time indoors, and indoor air quality is a basic need that we take for granted,” said Sen. Anwar. “It’s no secret that the infrastructure in our schools have grown less efficient over time in value and quality as the buildings age. This is vitally important in that lught; the average school sees 10% of children with asthma and more with allergies. With older buildings, mold, dust and other pollutants can impact these conditions, especially if a school’s equipment struggles to control heat and humidity. This is a real issue where we knew we could make improvement. We want to be able to improve the air we breathe. We passed legislation in 2022 that many committees worked together on, finding the best way to protect students and staff alike and finding a unified goal together, investing in our children’s health and future.”

“We can’t confuse indoor air quality with ‘good air,'” said Rep. Currey. “I’d like to thank the Superintendent and Board of Education to apply for funding, as many districts did not, though another round of applications is soon to come. Within legislation we passed this year, we will invest $15 million into air purifiers in schools across the country, making sure our students are breathing ‘good’ air.”

“We’ll use this funding to support replacing all four existing rooftop HVAC units here at the High School in the library media center, but also to support infrastructure projects at Pitkin Elementary School to construct a ventilation system for about 25 classrooms,” said Superintendent Anderson. “As a result of receiving this funding, these projects are now in the design and development phase and we anticipate construction to start next summer. This is the type of facilities work that goes unnoticed sometimes, but is crucial to keeping education spaces comfortable so students and staff can focus on the learning process.”

“On behalf of the town of East Hartford and Mayor Martin, I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our state delegation for their continued support of our community and our local schools,” said Tchelidze. “This critical investment in our facilities makes sure our next generation of leaders is able to learn in a safe, comfortable and healthy environment.”

In the funding announced by the state earlier this year, the Indoor Air Quality Grant program will administer $180,860.13 to East Hartford for rooftop unit and control replacements, while Pitkin Elementary School will receive $592,332.50 supporting ventilation improvements.

Caption: From left, Rep. Currey, Sen. Anwar, Superintendent Anderson, Tchelidze and Board of Education Chairman Tyron Harris gather in East Hartford Wednesday.

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