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GIPS installs purifying devices to get rid of COVID-19

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:41 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools started a new project this week to help get rid of the very thing that causes people to wear a mask. The district is installing Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization devices to help zap this infection from the air.

This high tech device releases millions of ions into spaces and neutralizes harmful bacteria like mold, COVID-19 and other viruses.

“We know the technology works because it’s scientific evidence, and we’re putting measuring devices in every building to measure the concentration of ions in the space. Now we’re not putting them everywhere, but in key spaces,” said Chief Financial Officer Virgil Harden.

The Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization machine actually mimics what already occurs in nature like at beaches and waterfalls, which is one of the reasons why the air is so pure in these places.

“In the last ten years this kind of easy to install, active indoor air quality technology has become common place,” Harden said. “It’s in a lot of casinos, hotels, in shopping malls, areas where large people gather.”

The district started looking into this device last year when they were battling mold at the high school. It caused them to shut down an entire wing of the building and delay classes for three days.

“We’ve been researching on ways that we can do to minimize any sort of kind of occurrence from happening ever again. Covid-19 really pushed us harder to formalize, and coming up with this project we’re doing right now,” said Buildings and Grounds Director Dan Petsch.

School officials looked into UV lights to help solve the mold problem, but they found out the ionization device was cheaper to install. It has a ten-year-life-span, it’s self cleaning and will require limited maintenance in the future.

“What’s kind of neat about this system we’re installing, is it doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. They’re actually pretty small, and we’re installing them all into our existing air handling equipment,” Petsch said.

It’s going to take $1.4 million to complete the project, but the district said it’s not costing taxpayers any additional money. Administrators hope to be done with the project by the end of spring break.

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