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CMS focusing on lack of airflow in H-VAC systems at 39 schools before reopening

Right now there are currently 25 CMS schools going through "Air Optimization Projects," which the HVAC systems are being worked on and restored.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CMS students could be back in the classroom by the end of the month. Members of the metric advisory board created a "dashboard" to measure everything from the virus spread in the community to how ready schools are. 

But as plans are underway, there's concern over a lack of air ventilation in dozens of CMS school buildings. 

"By saying that schools are ready, are they really ready?" CMS teacher Steve Oreskovic said.

As CMS prepares to welcome students back into the classroom, teachers are sounding the alarm. 

"We have a problem still in the schools, how are we going to solve the problem of airflow" CMS teacher Steve Oreskovic said. 

WCNC Charlotte obtained a list of schools that have HVAC systems without outside air capability. The 39 schools across Mecklenburg County lack airflow. 

"Were giving those special attention" Maintenance and engineering director Fakhar Shahbaz said.

Right now there are currently 25 CMS schools going through "Air Optimization Projects," which the HVAC systems are being worked on and restored.

Still, teachers pleading with school officials to address their concerns before reopening.

"I'm definitely nervous about it" CMS Teacher, Justin Parmenter said.  "It just can't be a situation where putting people in harm's way because we don't have the resources that we need."

According to a June study by the Government Accountability Office, 41% of schools nationwide need major upgrades to their HVAC systems. Not a great thing before the pandemic, but now the air circulation could help spread COVID.

"The virus particle concentrations can build up and infect somebody beyond that magical six-foot ring we've been talking about for the past couple months," assistant professor at Harvard University Joseph Allen said.

Despite that, some say there are other more important safety precautions in place. 

 "Social distancing and masks are really the critical things, sanitation and cleaning," Shahbaz said.