Hays CISD Considers $4.1 Million Coronavirus Safety Measure

Published at sanmarcosrecord.com

Hays CISD Board of Trustees is considering the purchase of air purifying equipment for the district as another added layer of protection against COVID-19.

HCISD Chief Operational Officer Max Cleaver presented the board with a plan to install Novaerus NV900W air purifiers in all rooms of a school.

“What we’re proposing here is a kill technology for airborne contaminants,” Cleaver said. “We’re already doing the basic ventilation and filtration, so the next go around is leveraging the systems we have.”

Novaerus has been in the medical field for over a decade and patented “NanoStrike Technology,” which uses electrical current to destroy pathogens in the air.

Because the model NV 900 units do not use filters, chemicals or high electrical voltage, the air purifier technology offers a low total cost of ownership over time, according to the district’s staff recommendation. The purifiers would cycle every 45 minutes and cover an average classroom size of up to 1,200 square feet, effectively cleaning the air by 99.99%.

“In the long term, while $4.1 million is an awful lot of money, it will help keep our children in class,” Board Trustee Merideth Keller said. “While I want to spend that money on instruction, we have to keep our kids in class.”

With 1,760 units at $2,344 each, the estimated cost of the project is $4,125,440. The estimated cost and number of units also includes future schools in development.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright said the project’s funding would derive from two-thirds of allocated emergency relief funds and one-third of unallocated reserves, along with intervention services cuts.

“We approved 25 interventionists this year and we would cut those positions for year two,” Wright said. “With the unallocated funds, we would couple that money together in order to afford this. And then we would have some left over.”

Each air purifier comes with a seven-year warranty and a guaranteed unit replacement. The board will vote on the agenda item at their next meeting, Monday, Sept. 27.

As of Sept. 22, Hays CISD reports 191 active coronavirus cases. The district will continue to encourage masks throughout each campus.