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November 4, 2020

During the October 19, 2020 regular meeting, the Wimberley ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the purchase of more than 200 high-end air filtration systems to be installed in all classrooms and common spaces at the four WISD campuses. Especially during the ongoing pandemic, these filtration systems will increase the level of safety for staff and students across the district.

The air-filtration systems, known as Safe Breathing Zone Units (SBZU’s), will be implemented across the district beginning in early December. The SBZU’s, manufactured and produced by Joe Fly Co., Inc., will combine ultraviolet light, bipolar ionization and HEPA filtration technologies to ensure classrooms, administrative and nurses offices, libraries, music rooms, and athletic halls will be supplied with a curtain of super filtrated air.

“The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount as we provide the high-quality education that Wimberley ISD is known for,” WISD Superintendent Dwain York said. “The installation of these units, which we believe is the first of its kind for a district in Texas, shows that commitment and helps us provide a safe environment.” “I’m all for whatever is the best thing we can get for our students,” trustee Ken Strange added.

“WISD’s desired air quality objectives are to reduce absenteeism from illness and ensure peace of mind to students, parents, and staff members,” said Dawson Moyers, WISD’s HVAC Equipment Manager. “The SBZUs fit seamlessly into these desired outcomes without the traditional roadblocks.”

The SBZU combines three of the most effective air filtration technologies into one unit. First, the integrated fan draws unfiltered air into the SBZU. Then, the bipolar ionization unit deactivates harmful pathogens and releases cleansing ions into the air. That air then passes through the UV light inside the unit and through the gel-seal HEPA that provides final filtration, catching a minimum of 99.97% of particles, before being released into the desired space, creating a curtain of clean air that can only be found in surgical operating rooms.

During discussion during the public meeting, trustees shared their hope the units will help to maintain high attendance rates by keeping students healthy. “Hopefully one day we’re away from COVID, but this will continue to be a good investment long-term,” trustee Will Conley said.

The installation of these units will add to efforts that WISD is already doing to provide fresh, clean air inside all facilities. Current equipment already brings fresh outdoor air inside several times per hour, while a separate set of ducts expels “used” air from inside the building.

This article originally appeared on Wimberley Independent School District’s webpage. You can read it here.

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