Ready to Return? Campus Assessments Prepare California Schools to Reopen Safely

By: Gary Gery, Partner

For months now, the dilemma of whether the threat of the novel coronavirus outweighs the setbacks many are experiencing with remote learning has been difficult to reconcile. Overall, most districts are providing students with the option to return to in-person learning this fall and in preparation, have implemented extensive protocols for keeping campuses clean and safe.

Earlier this year, we released Healthy Schools, a resource for school districts in preparation for returning to in-person learning. Our MEP Division, LEAF Engineers also published Building Well, which provided recommendations for optimizing mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems for wellness. PBK-WLC and LEAF also worked with the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) on their Healthy School Recommendations document, published this summer.

This fall, we have been assisting districts in applying these recommendations for their campuses’ specific building systems. During the month of September, our California and Texas teams have combined resources to survey hundreds of campuses, assessing readiness for students’ return to school later this fall. This news clip features an overview of the assessments being performed at Sacramento City Unified School District.

The surveys involve reviewing existing HVAC equipment condition and operation, filtration and outside air damper control as well as building water flushing and collecting air sampling data.

The information gathered will be submitted by the districts to the Governor’s office as part of their current readiness plans, showing they are ready to have staff and students return to campus. For more information on these readiness assessments, contact PBK at 909-987-0909 or LEAF Engineers at 1-800-938-7272.