FOREST CITY—Space-age technology is coming to Rutherford County Schools (RCS), in a bid to kill COVID-19. At the Tuesday Board of Education meeting, the board agreed to purchase cutting edge air purification systems for all schools and the Cool Springs Administrative Office building.

At a cost of nearly $355,000, RCS contracted with Beyond by Aerus based in Greenville, South Carolina, to install the “ActivePure” air purification systems. Installation, according to RCS Chief Operating Officer Brad Teague, will begin next week.

ActivePure uses certified NASA technology that works to continuously clean and protect air 24 hours per day.

When microscopic oxygen and water molecules in the air enter the air purification units, they pass through the ActivePure honeycomb matrix. While inside the matrix, the molecules are transformed into friendly-yet-powerful oxidizers.

When they are released back into the air, the supercharged ActivePure molecules seek and destroy various contaminants, fungi, mold, and odor-causing bacteria. According to the company, the technology has been proven to successfully, significantly, reduce the presence of various forms of the coronavirus, influenza, E. coli, and MRSA.

“This is another one of our COVID mitigation strategies,” Teague said. “These air purification systems don’t replace our other measures in place, they complement them.”

Teague said the Beyond by Aerus bid for the project, was by far the lowest bid.

“The next lowest was $1.8 million to outfit the schools. The other two bids were even higher,” Teague said.

Besides the cost, officials are more impressed with the technology.

“I describe it to people like this. These units create good molecules that attack the bad,” Teague said. “”It’s just a totally different technology. They saturate the air. We will have multiple units in the school buildings, but a unit does not have to be in every classroom.”

This air purification technology is now being used in other school systems, as well as some area churches.

“There is no 100% guarantee that they will destroy all viruses and bacteria,” Teague continued. “But these systems can help tremendously. We are eager to get them installed.”

Teague says that even when COVID-19 becomes only a memory, the air purification systems will still be beneficial, and should greatly reduce the transmission of colds and flu.

“We believe that ultimately, the air purification systems will help drive down absences, and keep kids in school,” Teague said. “These systems should help with that, long after COVID is gone.”

Installation of the air purification systems is expected to be finished in two weeks.