A sweet breath of clean air

A huge capital improvement project was started and completed over the summer. Due to a generous donation of $225,000 by an alumni family, we were able to put new fully-sealed windows and doors in all exterior facing windows and doors in the academic building and both the girls and boys dorms, including the gurdwara and medical rooms. AC/heating units to both control temperature and filter the air were also installed in all of the girls and boys dorm rooms and the existing AC units in the classrooms, the medical rooms and the gurdwara were also upgraded.

The entrance to the girls dorm with the new windows and doors

This project was initiated to improve the air quality of all our interior spaces. Two years ago we installed air purifiers in all of the classrooms and dorm rooms, which made an improvement in the air quality, but with our old windows and doors, we couldn’t create a seal that could keep that purified air indoors. With our new sealed windows and doors, we’re already noticing a huge improvement in air quality. When the Air Quality Index (AQI) outside recently said 89, the AQI indoors was 18. This difference will become even more marked at those times of year when the air quality worsens.

This change was big news for all of the returning students and will provoke some reaction in our alumni. For 22 years the students at MPA did not have AC in their dorms and had to suffer through the hot months at both the beginning and the end of the year. It makes a huge difference to come to MPA in August and have AC indoors when the temperature outside is 45ºC with up to 100% humidity. 

Hargobind and Narayan in front of their new windows

“Having AC is still surreal. When I wake up in the morning and see the AC unit on the walls. . . after being here for seven years it’s something else.” – Hargobind Singh, Grade 12 (7th year at MPA)

For the returning students, they’ve noticed that the AC has been most impactful when they come indoors after PT, in keeping things cool during yoga class, and when sleeping at night. 
“I like it a lot and I’m really grateful. I used to wet my shirt before I went to bed because I was so hot. And then I’d wake up in the middle of the night to put a wet chuni on me. Now it’s really comfortable.” – Elisa, Grade 9 (3rd year at MPA)
“I definitely sleep better. It’s more comfortable because you’re not sticking to your bed. Sometimes I even wake up and feel kind of cold so that’s crazy. I never would have thought that would happen.” – Amar Singh, Grade 10 (3rd year at MPA)
Besides the air quality and air temperature, this project has also improved the beauty of the school, especially when indoors. 

Raminder Kaur next to her window

“It’s great. I feel very privileged. It makes me wonder what it will be like if I came back to MPA in ten years. It’s changed things a lot, especially the physical appearance. When you open your blinds, it looks so beautiful.” – Raminder Kaur, Grade 11 (4th year at MPA)

Amongst the returning students, there’s a feeling of gratitude as well as a concern that the new students and future generations will lose their grit. MPA has undergone significant improvements and adjustments over its 22 year history. It’s come a long way from the early days when it looked like the planet Mars with nothing but red dirt and red brick buildings. As is human nature, the preceding classes boast about their hardships and what things were like in their day. It’s true that the level of comfort at MPA has increased greatly, but so have our demands on and expectations of our students. As the facilities improve, our program adjusts to make the most our of our day and our time together at MPA. 
Thank you again to our generous donors and all those who contribute to the continued evolution of Miri Piri Academy.