Updated: September 29, 2020 06:12 PM
Created: September 29, 2020 04:19 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —With more than 140 schools in Albuquerque Public Schools, getting classrooms COVID-safe isn’t just difficult—it’s expensive.
Before APS can safely reopen, the state said schools must meet certain requirements like upgrading school ventilation systems, which could cost APS millions.
APS said there won’t be any hybrid learning until 2021, but the district is already getting ready by upgrading their HVAC systems.
“School districts as well as Albuquerque Public Schools —we will upgrade our filters as high as possible. First off that’s available, and that the system can handle,” said John Dufay, executive director of operations for APS.
Dufay said getting their hands on filters is tough. Right now, the district only has enough in stock to get them through November. The rest are on back order.
APS is also looking at using UV light sanitizing to keep classrooms clean, which would cost about $8 million.
Similar technology is already being used across the country in subways, restaurants and classrooms.
“So what will happen is that the UV rays will—we’re looking to kill any virus, so as we have our air movement, we’ll put in UV units,” Dufay said.
The state Public Education Department said they won’t give APS any new money for the upgrades. They said districts should be able to use CARES Act funding or money from FEMA to offset those costs.
Assuming all the criteria stays the same, APS students are expected to start hybrid learning in January.
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