Rocky River City Schools investing nearly $500k to make the air safer amid COVID-19 crisis

Rocky River City Schools investing nearly $500k to make the air safer amid COVID-19 crisis

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WOIO) - Come September, students in Rocky River will be back in the classroom.

The district’s plan now is for half of the students to go to school in the morning and the other half in the afternoon, but the district wanted to make sure they were doing everything they could to keep students safe and they’re investing nearly $500,000 to make it happen.

“We investigated air quality, and the sanitation of air, and through all of the studies and information that’s out there the combination of UV and filtration with something called merv-13, you combine those two things together and you are sanitizing air to a level to which hospitals might,” explained Sam Gifford, executive director of Human Resources and Support Services for the school district.

The district is making major improvements to the HVAC systems at all five of its schools.

“We’ve really hit on all of the other aspects of cleaning, sanitizing hard surfaces, frequently touched areas, door handles, handrails, extra hand washing stations, hand sanitizer you name it,” Gifford said.

Gifford said based on guidance from the CDC they decided on using advanced air filtration systems and something called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation disinfection throughout the district.

“We’re flipping over the air now, or we will after we’re done with this project 3 to 4 times an hour which is big — an operating room does it 20 times an hour,” he said.

The project will cost more than $455,000. Gifford says the funding is coming from the CARES Act and the school’s general fund. He admits it is a lot of money, but he insists it is worth every penny.

“It’s going to be an active and contributing part of what we do to keep students and staff safe every day for years to come,” said Gifford.

Work on this project kicks off on Tuesday. It’s expected to take six or seven weeks and wrap up just in time for the start of the school year.

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