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$500M to be invested to improve school air quality

Virginia plans to invest $500 million to improve ventilation and air quality in public schools, securing the completion of nearly all currently planned HVAC projects, Gov. Ralph Northam announced late last month.

The state will allocate $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding for necessary ventilation upgrades, which will be matched 1:1 by local American Rescue Plan or other relief funding. Ventilation systems clean and disperse air, decreasing the risk of various airborne illnesses including COVID-19.

Northam made the announcement at Hopewell High School, joining school officials to celebrate the launch of their year-round school initiative. This announcement marks the start of “Investment Week,” during which the governor and legislative leaders will highlight proposals for allocating the $4.3 billion in ARP funding available to Virginia in advance of the Aug. 2 special session.

“Air quality is a key part of maintaining safe and healthy learning environments for...

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