PACC fitness center receiving grant for ventilation system

Staff Writer

It was learned that the Punxsutawney Area Community Center (PACC) will receive COVID-19 grant funding through Punxsutawney Borough Council at Tuesday's meeting. "We were able to get a project set up so we will be able to have a new ventilation system, the entire fitness center in the community center," said Toby Santik, Punxsutawney borough manager.

Santik said that the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Air Cond- itioning Engineers has stated that the ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air from COVID-19. Santik also said that unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life-threatening and thus less resistance to infection. Generally, disabling of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.

"Correct me if I'm wrong; I can't think of a better project for this borough to pursue than to give something back to our seniors who are diligently over there and staying fit, and support the community center," Santik explained, adding that they are moving forward with this and the icing on the cake is that once all the funds are pulled in, the borough is looking at an 80/20 grant.

"Eighty percent from the outside, and the borough is going to put up 20 percent," he said, "which is a heck of lot better than Harmon Field, which was a 50/50 grant; we're getting a big bang for our buck as far as the money goes, and I can't think of a finer thing to do."