Catholic Division air quality project nearly complete

Daily Herald File Photo

On Friday the Prince Albert Catholic School Division announced that it is nearing completion of a project to improve air quality in all schools in the division. In recognition of the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of air quality for students and staff, the school division embarked on a process to lessen the spread of airborne viruses and bacteria last year.

In the Spring of 2020, facilities manager Dan Gareau and other school division personnel began meeting with Public Health officials to plan a safe return to school for staff and students. The planning discussions resulted in engaging with Mechanical Engineering Consultants (HDA Engineering) to assess options based on mechanical systems of all of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division buildings and rooms.

The project involved months of planning by the division.

“The Board of Education proactively knew air quality was extremely important and rallied to proceed to approve the project,” Catholic Division board chair Suzanne Stubbs said in a release.

She credits the Board of Education, school division personnel and the associated contractors for their commitment to completing the project while improving conditions for students and staff.

The air quality project would be considered an additional layer to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Aligned with the recommendations of mechanical engineers, Bipolar Ionization air purifier units were acquired. Historically, air purifiers have not been incorporated in most HVAC systems. This technology safely cleans the air inside industrial, commercial and residential buildings.

As of Friday, Feb. 26 the project is nearing completion in all of Prince Albert Catholic School Division’s elementary schools, including École St. Anne, St Michael, St. John, St. Catherine, St Francis and École Holy Cross. École St. Mary High School, the final school to be completed, is anticipated to be near completion by the end of next week.