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Eight Richmond schools receive funding to improve ventilation

Richmond schools receive funding for ventilation system upgrades
Debbie Tablotney (fourth from left), board chair of Richmond School District; Parm Bains, member of Parliament for Steveston-Richmond East, and school board staff at R.A. McMath secondary for a funding announcement.

The provincial and federal governments have earmarked $2.4 million to improve ventilation in eight schools and one social housing complex in Richmond.

Ventilation upgrades will take place at both elementary and secondary schools, for example, to replace fume hoods in labs.

The HVAC components that pull fresh air from outside the building and other HVAC systems will also be improved with an aim to reduce schools’ energy consumption.

Richmond Board of Education chair Debbie Tablotney was joined by Parm Bains, member of Parliament for Steveston-Richmond East, and school board staff at R.A. McMath secondary on Thursday afternoon to announce the funding.

“Improving the air quality in our schools is a priority for the Richmond School District, and we welcome this investment by the federal and provincial governments to support this important work,” said Tablotney, adding this has been “urgently requested” by parents.

“It will also allow us to improve energy efficiency and create a safer and healthier learning environment for our students and staff.”

Rosewood Towers, a social housing building in Richmond, will also receive part of the investment to upgrade its make-up air unit systems, dampers, bathroom fans and ventilation system throughout both of its towers.

Bains highlighted the need for ventilation upgrades in schools and public buildings.

“The funding announced today will help safeguard the health of students, staff and public housing residents in Richmond and protect the overall well-being of the community,” he said.

The B.C. Government is providing its portion of the funding through the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy.

The strategy aims to respond to and prepare communities for climate impacts including extreme heat.

Last year, the Richmond School District announced it would spend $12 million from its capital budget to improve ventilation in 17 elementary schools.