Foley installing UV system in HVAC at Foley Event Center

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 5/15/20

FOLEY - Foley City Council voted to purchase and install UV lights for the HVAC at the Foley Event Center, the same system Trane Building Services uses within hospitals. The system is meant to …

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Foley installing UV system in HVAC at Foley Event Center

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FOLEY - Foley City Council voted to purchase and install UV lights for the HVAC at the Foley Event Center, the same system Trane Building Services uses within hospitals. The system is meant to provide a safer environment within the facility by helping to minimize viruses, molds, and bacteria. UV systems also keep mold from growing on coils, effectively saving on operation costs.

“We’ve been investigating a lot of technologies, and obviously we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but we feel part of what we’re going to have to do while responding to COVID-19 is ensure our facilities are safe,” said David Thompson, recreation director.

The system is commercial grade and kills approximately 99.9% of pathogens in the air, a great benefit to buildings that typically see large amounts of traffic.

“This is something that’s not just COVID-19 related, but something I think we would use on an ongoing basis,” Thompson said. “But certainly with COVID-19, there are going to be people who are scared to go places if it’s not an environment they feel safe in. This is one of those steps to help people feel more comfortable in their environment.”

The total cost of installing the UV lighting system in the Event Center is $33,748, which Thompson said one tournament will pay for.

This is the first step the city is taking to create the safest environment possible. Going forward, officials look to install such technology in all heavily trafficked city buildings, including Town Hall, the Foley Public Library, the Foley Civic Center and the Foley Welcome Center.

In addition to adding UV lighting, the Foley Sports Tourism Department is working on changes to protocols used during sports tournaments, such as: making use of personal protection equipment for city employees, social distancing, hand washing stations, and modifying sanitization schedules for restrooms and commonly touched surfaces. The next sports season will see best practices guides such as not shaking hands after a match and asking players and spectators to not participate if they aren’t feeling well.

“No one thing removes all risk,” said City Administrator Mike Thompson. “UV disinfection has been around for a pretty long time and is regularly used in health care settings, but it can only treat what the light hits for a certain period of time … No one thing does away with all risk, but when taken as a whole, we believe we can make Foley the safest venue for young families to compete in their chosen sport.”

For more on the City of Foley, visit https://cityoffoley.org/.