University receives $22.4M in ARPA funding for upgrades
Gov. John Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long have announced the award of $22.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to support Delaware State University’s upgrade needs to the campus HVAC systems, classroom technology and its Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in Wilmington.
The funding support will assist Del State in its operational management amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the following ways.
- The University will receive $8 million to enable Del State to upgrade its Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioner (HVAC) Systems, a critical infrastructure component in providing clean air that is essential in COVID-19 transmission prevention. That will include the upgrade of fan motors and airflow-control systems, the installation of high-performance air-purification systems and the replacement of HVAC equipment.
- Del State has been awarded $7.4 million to upgrade its classroom technology to meet the virtual needs that utilize platforms like Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, etc. The technology upgrades will include classrooms, labs, conference rooms and other learning spaces. The goal of the University is that every classroom will be equipped with a display screen, projector, TV/smart board, sound system, Apple TV and Windows/MAC device to enhance SMART capability.
- The University will also receive $7 million in support of its Molecular Diagnostic Lab at the University’s Kirkwood Highway location. The lab has provided COVID-19 testing and analysis, as well as limited variant tracing to residents of Delaware and Pennsylvania. The funding will address health disparities by providing access to health services and improved variant tracing. That includes the acquisition of human genome sequencing technology that provides the diagnostic capability to prevent ailments relating to conditions that affect underrepresented communities. Funding will also support the hiring of additional personnel and the improvement of the facility to accommodate patients who need testing, vaccines or diagnostic help.
“The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for higher education go far beyond testing, vaccination, and quarantine,” said Dr. Tony Allen, President of Delaware State University. “We are rethinking nearly every element of instruction and facilities management, and we are incredibly thankful to have partners like Governor Carney who understand the critical nature of our mission and are willing to invest in helping us meet these challenges. Our students, faculty, and staff will be safer because of these ARPA investments, which will allow us to continue changing the life trajectories of those who attend America’s most diverse, contemporary HBCU.”
In the fall, Gov. Carney announced that Del State will receive $30.6 million over the next five years to establish an Early Childhood Innovation Center. Of that amount, the University has already received $10.2 million in support of that initiative, which serves as an investment in Delaware’s childcare workforce and expands access to affordable childcare for Delaware families in need.