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Air Conditioning and Heat Mitigation in Schools FAQs

Q: How many schools still need air conditioning?

A: There were 24 schools selected to receive AC + cooling upgrades in the 2020 bond cycle. As of 9/1/2023, out of those 24 schools, 17 have had their AC + cooling upgrades completed. The remaining 7 schools from the 2020 bond package will have their upgrades completed in 2024. Please review the project schedule here.

Outside of the schools selected in the 2020 bond cycle, there are 31 schools remaining that are in need of air conditioning and cooling upgrades. Schools in need are identified using our temperature study. To see where your school was ranked in the study, please review our composite ranking. For more information on how the schools were ranked, please review the questions and answers below. Please note, this ranking is subject to change.

DPS is actively seeking future funding opportunities to supply the remaining schools with the air conditioning and cooling upgrades they need.

AC + Cooling Project Schedule, Funded by the 2020 Bond

Completed Projects

In Progress

Q: How was my school ranked on the priority list?

A: Schools are selected using our Equity index and our Heat index, respectively.

Q: What is an Equity Index?

A: The Equity Index is based on 3 sets of criteria: percentage of students classified as

special education learners, percentage of students receiving free & reduced lunch, and the

degree of volatility in conjunction with the Heat Index.

Q: What is a Heat Index?

A: The Heat index was developed through the DPS Planning, Design, and Construction

team. The team measures the temperature of classrooms in buildings without cooling,

and from that data develops an index of the hottest schools.

Q: Who makes the final decision on schools that are selected for bond packages?

A: The final decision is made through comprehensive collaboration between the following

entities: District Leadership, CPAC, and our Board of Education.

The Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) is a group of community

members, parents, educators, and other DPS stakeholders. The committee played a vital

role in creating the 2020 Bond package. CPAC members were chosen by a selection

committee with the intention of creating a group of stakeholders that is demographically

and regionally representative of the Denver community.

The members participated in five full CPAC meetings and five subcommittee meetings

from January to June of 2020, at which time the committee presented their funding

recommendations, inclusive of AC and Cooling, to the Board of Education, who carefully

reviewed the recommendations. The B.O.E. signed off on the final 2020 Bond Package.

Q: Can you tell me more about the project delivery timeline?

A: In support of providing students with a comfortable, climate controlled facility and to

support improved indoor air quality, the 2020 Bond will deliver (24) air conditioning

projects to multiple school sites across Denver Public Schools between 2021-2024.

While the majority of these projects are scheduled for a one year build, due to each

project's complexity of scope, electrical needs and unprecedented supply chain delays, a

few of our one year projects extended into two years or were delayed by one year to

ensure product availability and to minimize construction impact on the instructional

environment. Similarly, due to the complexity of scope and the size of an existing facility,

a few of our air conditioning projects were originally scheduled for a two year build.

We understand that while schools wait for air conditioning installations they are in need

of our immediate attention and care. There are a number of heat mitigation strategies that

have been put in place to manage high heat conditions in schools without air

conditioning, including portable coolers, fans and nighttime purges of buildings to bring

in cooler air, and direct digital controls (DDC) to automatically control unit operation.

Heat Mitigation Liaisons are assigned to support school staff, and to provide proper

training of staff on procedures (use of blinds, fans, etc.). Heat mitigation strategies are

also implemented when cooling issues are experienced at air-conditioned sites, as well as

at schools with partial air conditioning.

Thank you,

Giorgia Alexander

DPS Bond and Mill Levy Communications Specialist


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