MEDFORD, MA — A report compiled late last month and released by the Medford Public Schools Friday shows the improvements done to the HVAC systems in school buildings, as well as some of the air quality challenges the district faced. Workers were onsite last week addressing what the district called “long overdue” repairs to the HVAC systems at its schools. There were enough areas within each school that met, or exceeded, the increased air quality standards to accommodate the return of high needs and kindergarten students.
The MPS report specifically pertained to Cohort A, or the district’s high-needs student population. The district measured air exchanges per hour (ACH) and deemed rooms underneath that threshold unfavorable.
Medford High School
Data showed favorable air quality in the third floor of the B building, or the science labs wing, which was extensively renovated over the last several years. Students in Cohort A, who would ordinarily have been located elsewhere, were temporarily relocated to that area.
Three rooms were temporarily closed:
- Lecture Hall 2 (1.67 ACH)
- Room 314 (3.82 ACH) (in proximity to other rooms but not currently passing, HVAC vendors are inspecting)
- A206 Mock apartment room (2.76 ACH)
Testing is ongoing at Medford High School.
Curtis Tufts High School
CTHS does not have an HVAC system and is an outlier among the air quality reports. The actual ACH noted in the report is 0.0 as the only method of circulating fresh air possible at
CTHS is through open windows. Windows in each CTHS classroom have been opened (with new screens installed in the last several weeks).
In addition, on the advice of the engineering experts, two fans have been installed in each classroom, which are pointed both in and out of separate windows. This method of air circulation is estimated to create an