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Per C.R.S. 22-43.7-109 (8)(c) Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Governor Declared Emergency

Pursuant to C.R.S 22-43.7-109(8)(b) A "public school facility emergency" means an unanticipated event that makes all or a significant portion of a public school facility unusable for educational purposes or threatens the health or safety of persons using the public school facility.

Emergency Grants to Resolve Ventilation Issues

COVID-19 has presented significant challenges to our education systems. While there are many facets to address in support of operating schools as a safe environment, proper ventilation, filtration, and air circulation is crucial for healthy buildings.

Funds may be available for the purpose of improving ventilation and filtration systems in Colorado’s school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, BOCES, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, in response to the COVID-19 emergency. 


Grant Application – Guidance


Eligible or recommended requests:

Capital projects to resolve ventilation and filtration issues in occupied school facilities. Whole projects (including all ancillary work) will be accepted. Recommended actions include:

  • Assess, maintain, adjust, and, if necessary, repair or replacement of existing HVAC systems to ensure ventilation rates meet or exceed the standards set forth in ASHRAE 62.1-2019 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, and/or 2015 International Mechanical Code.

Not eligible:

  • Projects addressing climatic control, temperature, and comfort – those deemed not emergency related to COVID-19 but can be considered for submittal for a BEST grant (i.e., boiler replacements or adding of air conditioning) in the annual cycle.
  • Improvements that do not meet standard of ‘capital improvements’ such as portable air cleaners, supplies, or in-house labor.
  • Supplemental disinfecting systems, such as hydrogen peroxide or bi-polar ionization. These systems are not contemplated in the BEST Construction Guidelines or required to comply with current code or COVID-19 reopening guidance (which focuses on optimizing current HVAC systems, increased air exchanges, and improved filtration), and therefore will not be considered an eligible use of BEST funds.


Deliverables must have clear details for the work planned for each building; generic district-wide proposals are not adequate.

  1. Complete Emergency Grant Application.
  2. Charters must submit match questionnaire.
  3. Engineer’s report defining problem and solution per building:
  • How can the existing system be modified to better address ventilation and filtration with the existing building HVAC plant?
  • Do some components of the existing plant need to be replaced?  Which ones and for what benefit?
  • If there are new HVAC components added, is the current electrical supply adequate for new devices?  Is there asbestos on any part of the existing system that will be affected by new work that will require abatement?  Do new components fit the existing pads, mezzanines, and structural capacity?
  1. Detailed scope and budget:
  • Quotes or estimates for work detailed in the Engineer’s report above.
  • Quotes for testing and balancing, if applicable.
  • Quotes from HVAC plant manufacturer, i.e., Johnson Controls, Honeywell, etc., if applicable.
  • Quotes or estimates for associated electrical work, abatement and/or physical changes to pads or similar, if applicable.
  1. Project schedule with anticipated start date and end date:
  • Provide detailed timeline if project will take longer than six months to complete.
  1. Brief description of how emergency is affecting operation of school’s physical plant.
  2. Documentation including, but not limited to, insurance proceeds, cash reserves, or capital construction reserves available to address the emergency, including general and capital maintenance fund balance.


  • Project must start within 90 days of award.
  • BEST calculated matches will be applied to all requests (and are subject to change depending on magnitude of grants received and available funds).
  • Qualified Charter Schools, as defined in § 22-54-124 (1)(f.6)(I)(A) or (1)(f.6)(I)(B), C.R.S., that meet the following requirements are eligible.
    • Must have been in existence for at least 3 years prior to the date of submission of the BEST grant application.
    • The applicant must qualify under § 22-43.7-109(1)(a), C.R.S., requiring the applicant to own the public school facility, have the right to own through a lease-purchase agreement with the owner, or have a qualifying sub-lease purchase agreement with the State.


  • Staff will collect applications and verify that all deliverables have been submitted.
  • A summary list of all complete applications will be submitted to the Capital Construction Assistance Board (CCAB) for review.
  • The CCAB will make recommendations to the State Board of Education for their review and approval.
  • The State Board of Education will then review the CCAB’s recommendations.
  • If approved by both bodies, a request will be made to the Office of the State Controller to approve the funding to support the approved grant awards.
  • Projects will be managed similarly to the established cash grant process, and may be subject to limitations of period of appropriation.
    • If federal funds are used for part of the match, requirements of that funding source will be the responsibility of the grantee.


*Charter schools who have not previously requested FY21-22 match calculation should reach out to staff immediately.
May 21, applications due.
June 3, CCAB considers requests. Staff submits list to SBE.
June 9-10, SBE meets to consider requests.
Staff submits request to State Controller for consideration of increased appropriation.
Grant Agreements drafted as soon as possible:
Funds available upon signature of State Controller.