AllentownSchool District

ASD Receives $2 Million Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant

ASD Receives $2 Million Lehigh County COVID-19 Relief Block Grant
Posted on 11/05/2020
Allentown, PA (November 5, 2020) - The Allentown School District is excited to announce the receipt of $2,082,237 from Lehigh County’s COVID-19 Relief Block Grant. The funding will go directly towards mechanical & equipment upgrades and improvements to address safety concerns in ASD buildings due to COVID-19. The Allentown School District Foundation secured this grant for the Allentown School District. 

The ASDF has a mission to encourage, promote, support, and fund positive educational experiences for students. These purchases will ensure that students and staff are able to work and learn in a safe and healthy school environment.

“As ASD continues with virtual learning through the winter months, there is significant work to be done behind the scenes to ensure district buildings are prepared and ready to welcome students,” stated Mr. Bosket. “The eventual return to in-person instruction hinges on the district’s ability to upgrade buildings and create the safest possible environment.”

Limitations in current air systems, especially in some of ASD’s oldest buildings, make these projects and improvements so critical to creating a healthy environment and following all guidelines outlined by the CDC.

One of the CDC guidelines is to “limit or prohibit the use of communal drinking fountains and provide safe alternatives for providing water, when possible.” ASD has already approved the purchase of 74 touchless bottle filling stations and this grant will allow the district to purchase an additional 50 units. This grant will also cover the cost associated with upgrading pipes, drainage, and installation in the schools.  Clean and hygienic access to drinking water is an absolute priority, and these “hands-free” stations will become a permanent replacement for traditional older model water fountains.

The remainder of the funding will upgrade the mechanical systems and improve air cleaning and filtering technology in ASD’s aging buildings. The facilities projects include enhanced HVAC cleaning, maintenance, and upgrades, proper ventilation and HEPA filters in isolation rooms, and HVAC ionization systems and filters throughout the district’s school buildings. These upgrades are proven to reduce airborne contaminants and provide cleaner air in indoor spaces – crucial steps towards reducing and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

“ASD is thrilled to have the backing of the School District Foundation and thank them for their assistance in obtaining this grant from Lehigh County. We want to thank our County Commissioners Marc Grammes, Percy H. Dougherty, Amy L. Zanelli, Geoff Brace, Nathan Brown, Bob Elbich, Dave Harrington, Dan Hartzell, Zakiya Smalls and the County Executive Phil Armstrong,” stated Thomas Parker, Superintendent of the Allentown School District. “Both Lehigh County and the ASDF board have shown their commitment and dedication to ensuring that Allentown is able to advance critical ventures in the midst of a global pandemic.”