The Center for Disease Control has reiterated the importance of frequent hand-washing with soap and water to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.
With this in mind, HCISD is working on another project to promote health and safety as we prepare for the following school year.
The district plans to install 200 hand-washing stations across elementary campuses. These new sinks are foot pedal activated. Water is dispensed with the press of a foot, preventing the need to touch a handle to turn the faucet on or off.
“This hand-washing sink is stainless steel, which is good for cleaning and disinfecting,” Administrator for District Operations, Ken Lee said.
The sinks, along with soap and paper towel dispensers, will be installed in strategic locations near large gathering areas and in hallways where classrooms do not have sinks in the room.
“We want to install these units next to existing water fountains where we will be able to utilize the current water source and drain-source for the unit,” Lee said. “If existing water fountains are located in pathways which lead to libraries, cafeterias, and gyms, we may want to install these sinks in those areas. We are also looking at exterior applications near the playgrounds.”
Installation is set to begin in the fall along with other touch-free systems such as water bottle refill stations and hand sanitizing stations.
“The current COVID-19 situation is causing delays across the country,” Lee said. “This is why we will begin installing during the fall, but if we get any of the systems sooner, we will begin immediately.”
The elementary campuses are the area of focus at the moment because younger children need the most instruction and opportunity for proper and frequent hand-washing.
“HCISD has been very methodical about planning for the upcoming school year,” Zavala Elementary Principal, Tanya Garza said. ” We want to provide the best setting for students this coming fall. Given the COVID-19 circumstances, we are taking measures to ensure a safe return by installing hand-free sinks and water fountains district-wide. The installation of the hand-free sinks will enhance student safety by reducing the spread of germs. Students will be excited to use the new sinks and will definitely enjoy the new process.”
The hand-washing stations feature a gooseneck faucet, which provides additional opportunities for students and staff to use these sinks to refill water bottles with the press of a foot.