SOUTH DUNDAS – Local English Catholic schools received equipment and upgrades as part of a $6.8 million funding inititiative.
The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario upgraded 23 of its schools with major HVAC upgrades. This included St. Mary Catholic School in Chesterville, which received air conditioning for the entire school. Five roof-top units and an upgrade to the building automation system was also part of that project. Junior and senior kindergarten classrooms each received a portable HEPA filter unit, which is a provincial requirement.
St. Mary-St. Cecilia Catholic School in Morrisburg also received HEPA filter units for each of its kindergarten classrooms. There were no major upgrades to that school as it already has a school-wide mechanical ventilation system.
CDSBEO spokesperson Amber LaBerge told The Leader that all schools’ ventilation systems were inspected by a third party contractor and any deficencies were repaired.
Another requirement of the provincial COVID-19 regulations for schools is the addition of touchless water bottle refilling stations. LaBerge said that both St. Mary-St. Cecilia and St. Mary’s have two stations each so no additional ones were added.
“The board is also running building automation systems two hours before and two hours after students are in the building, and the fresh air intake has been set to ensure it meets ministry expectations,” she said..
Laberge added that inspections and filter changes have been increased across the board.
Ontario’s Ministry of Education outlined new regulations to improve air quality in schools in August, and provided an additional $50 million to fund improvements.
The CDSBEO received $4.1 million through the government’s COVID-19 Resiliency Infrastructure Fund and spent $1.4 million through its School Renewal and School Condition Improvement funds in its budget.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader