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too late for Smoke Filters for MVWSD's new AC systems?

Original post made by Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park, on Nov 24, 2020

In a very recent School Board meeting there was a Consent Agenda approval of a $12 million contract to replace old heating/Air Conditioning (HVAC). Fine - but there was no attention to SMOKE FILTERS (upgrades).

That type of filter/fan system upgrade would allow the classrooms to work - in-person learning - during the wildfire smoke episodes CLIMATE CHANGE is sure to increasingly cause. In 2017 11 school days (learning) were completely lost due the MVWSD choosing to close it's classrooms. With no PANDEMIC it would have been much longer early this school year (over 20 lost days).

Contact your Board ([email protected]) if you want them to reconsider this contract ASAP! Just like the change in 'new jail' building - a CONTRACT can be changed if it is a Public Policy mistake!


[Techno speak - you may have caught a PBS news item on this issue. An HVAC system requires a Special Filter & holding frame and a Special (more powerful) fan motor to filter out small smoke particles. This is the same requirement for virus-sized particles to be reduced. In a semiconductor or medical research facility this is a HEPA HVAC system. There are commercial equivalents that can be specified for commercial buildings like public schools.]

The Board and Administration is not looking at HVAC as a 2-3 decade investment. Rather it seems they want it done ASAP! Like The "New" County JAIL - a Board vote can FIX!

Comments (3)

Posted by Judy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 25, 2020 at 8:12 am

Judy is a registered user.

What is the date of the school board meeting at which the $12 million contract was approved? I want to look it up.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 2, 2020 at 9:51 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

The contract was not discussed (but passed) at the Nov 5 Bd. meeting as agenda item IV.J.

Web Link

What was passed was "designed fees" on a proposed $12 M project that does not currently specify an improvement in filter performance. Something in the final specification "Bid Set" would have to specify M16 or so air filters. Since this is a 100% local funded project - it does not have to accept the "minimum" air filtration requirements of the DSA. The District developed the Project Cost Budget (which would increase if better filtration was specified).

EPA Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) page
Web Link

There are suppose to be Architect led community input meetings - contact District.


Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 2, 2020 at 9:55 am

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

BTW - the District again seems to have had the first half of Schematic Design Phase of this contract ("October 22 - November 19")- BEFORE the Contract was approved by the Board On Nov 5. Now in the middle of "Design Development" Nov. 20 - Dec 30.


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