Hays CISD looks to get $4.1 million approved for air-purifying equipment

Education

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Hays Consolidated Independent School District wants to invest millions in equipment to make air cleaner for students and staff.

It’s called the Novaerus Air Purifier. Hays CISD is asking the board to allow it to use roughly $4 million of its Emergency COVID Federal Grant Funding to purchase the equipment.

The machine has an electrostatic coil that will filter air in through its top and bottom, killing the germs and blowing back out clean air. It has filters that will have to be replaced monthly.

Hays CISD is asking for $4.1 million to invest in air purifiers to make air cleaner in district facilities. (KXAN Photo/Jala Washington)
Hays CISD is asking for $4.1 million to invest in air purifiers to make air cleaner in district facilities. (KXAN Photo/Jala Washington)

If the district gets approval to buy the equipment, Hays CISD said all 1,300 classrooms would get a purifier installed. Hays CISD plans on purchasing 1,700 purifiers total, which will cover lunchrooms, libraries and gyms as well.

Being in school physically is something fifth graders Nate and Bryson will never take for granted again.

“We high-fived each other and hugged, remember?” Nate asked his friend Bryson.

Their school, Tobias Elementary, recently shut down for a few days because of COVID-19.

“I saw him on Zoom, and I’m like, is that Nate?” Bryson said.

Virtual learning wasn’t their thing. So, they’re excited to hear the district is trying to invest in equipment that will make the air in school cleaner.

“Yeah, so we can breathe more with the masks on,” Nate said.

With just one flip of the switch, the air purifier kills germs when it sucks air in, so it blows back out clean.

“So an average classroom, it would turn the air over in about 45 minutes,” Hays CISD Chief Operations Officer Max Cleaver said.

According to Cleaver, they chose to partner with ProtectED because of research showing the equipment is really effective.

“Most of them are in that 96 to 99% effective range,” Cleaver said. “We consider this just another layer of protection. No one thing makes you safe.”

It’s a breath of fresh air. Normal school days could be ahead. The school board is set to vote on whether it’ll approve it in its next meeting on Sept. 27.

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