PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
City of Holyoke Invests in Air Quality Improvement Devices for HPS Classrooms
Mayor Morse allocates $950,000 in CARES Act funds to install HEPA filters in every classroom
HOLYOKE, MA –– To improve indoor air quality for students and educators, and to help mitigate the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19, Holyoke Public Schools and the City of Holyoke have purchased advanced HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration units for all district classrooms. The City used $950,000 CARES Act funds to purchase 449 Carrier OptiClean HEPA air filtration machines. This state of the art equipment was installed in all 385 academic classrooms, as well as cafeterias, gymnasiums, and other district locations last week. The HEPA units are also proven to filter allergen particles and triggers of asthma. This is of note because Holyoke has one of the highest rates of pediatric asthma in the Commonwealth.
“I want to thank Mayor Alex Morse and his team at City Hall for using CARES Act funding to make this important investment in HEPA technology to improve the air quality in our HPS buildings,” stated Holyoke Public Schools Superintendent/Receiver Dr. Alberto Vázquez Matos. “This has provided the opportunity for us to upgrade our existing HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) systems, bringing them into the 21st Century. We are grateful to have these HEPA air filtration machines that have been recommended by leading health experts like Harvard University’s Joseph Allen, coauthor of Healthy Buildings. We appreciate Mayor Morse and City Hall’s continued support as we work together to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.”
“We have taken advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in our students and educators,” stated Mayor Alex B. Morse. “This investment through CARES Act funding outfits every classroom in the District with advanced HEPA air filtration units, which supplements a lot of the proactive and preventative modifications that have already been made to improve indoor air quality in our schools. We have also taken this opportunity to provide City Departments with OptiClean HEPA filtration machines in 52 various locations throughout the City.”
Holyoke Public Schools is committed to prudent, preventative measures, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines, to improve air quality in our buildings and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. Other recent investments made by Holyoke Public Schools to improve air quality in classrooms include: installing ionizers in rooftop HVAC units, purchasing high-efficiency MERV pleated air filters, and restoring and repairing over 160 windows. HPS has also invested in air-purifying bipolar needle ionizers, proven neutralizers of the COVID virus.
For more information about the district’s health and safety measures and protocols that prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit the HPS School Safety webpage. View videos of the Holyoke Public Schools facilities team demonstrating the efforts and investments made to maintain a safe and healthy environment for staff and students: Air Quality, Cleaning and Disinfecting, Protecting our Schools – PPE.