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Akron Public Schools Installs New School Bus Sanitizing System

a photo of a school bus
The job of cleaning a school bus just got easier and more efficient for bus drivers in Akron Public Schools. Each bus now has a disinfecting system that will help it kill viruses after morning and afternoon runs.

Akron Public Schools is ready for the new school year. Because of the pandemic, a lot of the preparation has to do with cleaning and sanitizing. That includes a new disinfecting system installed on every school bus. Transportation Coordinator Bill Andexler says there are disinfectant misters installed above each seat on all of the district's 100 school buses.

“Everybody is doing a better job disinfecting, sanitizing, you know, whether it’s the classroom or the buses," Andexler said. And we just feel this is a better product; it’s real easy for the driver to use.”

The school buses will have 24 sanitizing nozzles, with a cleaning process that requires two steps: one to turn on the system using a key, and two to press a button to activate the disinfectant mist that runs for 45 seconds. Andexler says this will help ensure each seat is properly cleaned every time.

“They are increasing the cleaning in the classrooms, and we’re just bringing it out to the buses also," Andexler said.

The cost to install the sprayers and purchase the disinfectant for three years is about $500,000, or $6.50 every time the spray is used.

“Fortunately, we were able to use the funds that’s been given to use by the government for the pandemic. That’s why we’re able to do all 100 of our buses," Andexler said.

Akron is the first district in the state to use technology like this. These misters will remain in the buses after the pandemic.

Kelsey Paulus is a Junior studying journalism at Kent State University. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in journalism with a minor in design. Along with interning for WKSU, Kelsey is also a co-producer of TV2’s kentcore and a designer for A Magazine. She is an aspiring music journalist and hopes to work in the magazine industry someday.