CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield students will soon be getting a breath of fresh air — literally — thanks to planned upgrades to air systems in 16 schools across the county.

The schools board approved two grant resolutions at their Tuesday meeting, allocating federal COVID relief funds to pay for the planned upgrades and designating contractors to begin the work.

A little over $1.7 million was set aside to add UV disinfectant lights to the air systems of 12 schools, with an additional three schools added using other funds. According to a county official, they targeted the upgrades to the 15 schools with the worst air quality in the division, as determined by an air quality survey conducted two years ago.

The twelve schools chosen for UV light air system upgrades paid for with federal funding.

The school board also approved the contract for a much larger project, a $7.8 million overhaul of the HVAC system at James River High School. That project will include replacement of the rooftop AC units currently in use at the school.

The James River project is expected to begin in earnest this January. Installation of the new UV lights, on the other hand, is expected to be complete by next February.