Facilities Director Reassures School Committee on Classroom Ventilation

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The Bedford schools’ facilities director left no doubt at the Bedford School Committee’s meeting Tuesday that Lane School classrooms are a safe place to breathe.

Facilities Director Taissir Alani delivered a detailed presentation on classroom ventilation, featuring how the equipment works and how it is maintained.

The presentation was in response to a parent’s allegation during a School Committee meeting last month that several classrooms at Lane were not adequately ventilated. Optimized air quality is one of the pillars adopted by the schools in response to the pandemic.

Recent testing has confirmed that almost all Bedford classrooms are surpassing minimum recommendations for air movement and exchange, Alani said. He noted that a few actuators in equipment at Davis School are being replaced, and testing will continue through March.

“We are taking all the guidelines, our consultants’ knowledge, and our own experience to achieve the best result,” he said.

Alani explained that there are multiple approaches to ensuring adequate ventilation.

The director described in detail the classroom unit ventilator – the “uninvent” – which draws air from outdoors through a fresh air intake on the exterior wall. He diagrammed how the components are cleaned at the Department of Public Works every Wednesday and Saturday. “They have gone through every one of them at Lane.”

Classrooms are also equipped with air purifiers with highly-rated filtration efficiency. The filters normally are replaced three times a year; now it’s every two months, he said.

There’s an old-fashioned technique. “This month the heat bill was really high because we opened the windows during the day,” Alani said. “If that’s what it takes that’s fine. We’re doing whatever it takes to make sure we have the proper ventilation

The director applauded school and town leadership for ensuring that the steps needed can be addressed without regard to cost.

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763


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