College to Utilize COVID-Relief Funds for Health and Safety Upgrades

June 18, 2021 |

East Central College Board of Trustees approved the use of federal COVID-relief funds for technology and furniture purchases, heating and ventilation upgrades, and new remote access door systems.

During its June 14 meeting, trustees agreed to utilize federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund dollars, allocated as part of the CARES Act, to purchase equipment to mitigate the transmission of viruses, as well as technology upgrades to expand broadband for distance learning.

Much of the CARES Act funded furniture, technology and air-quality upgrades will be in place before the fall semester, according to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.

“There is going to be a lot of work going on in the next few months,” he said.

Furniture Purchases

Trustees approved two bids for the purchase of furniture at the Union campus and Rolla sites from Krueger International (KI). The college will purchase furniture for classrooms and student gathering areas in Union at the cost of $313,300.50; and furniture for classrooms at Rolla Main and Rolla North for $81,144.

“This will provide more flexibility to configure classrooms for social distancing, and the finish of the furniture is much easier to clean and sanitize,” Dr. Bauer noted.

Technology

CARES Act funds also will be used to purchase new fiber and network switches for the Health and Science and Donald Shook Student Center buildings.

Trustees approved the bid from Link Data Services, Inc. for installation of fiber at a cost of $41,482.35; and the purchase of 15 Dell switches at the cost of $84,105.

‘This will improve the bandwidth for distance learning and Wi-Fi,” Dr. Bauer said.

HVAC System

The $1,437,620 bid from Johnson Controls for a HVAC project also was approved by trustees.

The scope of work includes a heat pump replacement, new ultraviolet lamps, new duct work and ventilation upgrades, and Variable Air Volume (VAV) box replacement in three buildings on campus.

According to Dr. Bauer, the ultraviolet lamps, bulbs, and components can disinfect airstreams and continuously clean surfaces of cooling units and drain pans for maintaining indoor air quality and comfort performance.

“The developed clean air solutions from Johnson Controls help to decrease the risk of infection and create a safer, healthier environment,” he said.

Access Door Control

Another project funded by COVID-relief funds that was approved by trustees is for access door control and ADA touchless entries. TSI Global Companies, St. Charles, was the low bidder for the project at the cost of $165,805.

The access door control and ADA touchless entry project will be an upgrade over the aging automatic door hardware now in place. The touchless entry will help prevent the spread of viruses, improve security and safety, and be ADA compliance.

In addition, Union campus police officers will have remote access to doors and can quickly lockdown the campus if warranted during emergency situations.

Upgrades to access doors will be installed at the Union and Rolla locations.