Culver City USD infrastructure prepares for safe return of students

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Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) recently undertook a clean air program consisting of sanitation measures and infrastructure upgrades that will bring peace of mind to parents and staff when school resumes.

Last month, the district approved adding clean air technology to all of its facilities.

CCUSD partnered with indoor air quality specialists, engineers and building technology providers to create the three-tiered plan, consisting of ventilation; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) sanitation; and room sanitation measures.

“This technology will be instrumental to our safe reopening,” said CCUSD Board President Summer McBride. “We’ll be able to meet the latest health guidelines and protect our students and staff for years to come.”

CCUSD’s HVAC system will feature ionization technology that replicates bipolar ionization, an air purification process found in nature. Charged particles are released into a room, magnetizing and killing or deactivating harmful airborne substances of the opposite charge. 

Such substances can include bacteria, pathogens, air pollution, allergens and flu viruses, including the novel coronavirus. The contaminated air is then released outdoors as the HVAC system replenishes classrooms and facilities with fresh air from outdoors.

Each HVAC unit contains Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)-approved MERV 13 filters known to capture fine particulate matter. The plan also calls for a rigorous sanitation protocol that includes cleaning the HVACs often for top notch performance year round. 

“We’re doing the best we can to assure families that their students will be safe once they return to school,” CCUSD Superintendent Leslie Lockhart commented.

“We have a responsibility to our students and the community to do what we can to reduce transmission.” 

The district used a combination of federal stimulus and Measure CC funding. Its partner is Climatec, a Bosch-owned building technology and energy solutions provider offering more than 45 years of experience. 

In 2016, Climatec added high-efficiency HVAC technology, building automation systems, occupancy sensors and LED lighting during a first phase of improvements for CCUSD. Combined, both program phases will generate approximately $5.4 million in reduced operational costs over the lifespan of the equipment, about 15 years. 

“We’re pleased to be working with Culver City USD again,” Ashley Cascio, public sector director for Climatec added. “Ionization technology will soon be a mainstream for California K-12.” 

“It’s no surprise that CCUSD is at the forefront of the movement by improving indoor air quality at its schools.”