Founded in 1976, St. Joseph the Worker serves a Catholic community of approximately 2,500 families in Maple Grove, Plymouth, and surrounding communities. The impressive building consists of a sanctuary with seating for up to 800 people, along with a social hall, kitchen, 10 classrooms and an office area.
On a typical weekend more than 2,000 people enter the sanctuary and common areas. But like many religious institutions, St. Joseph the Worker has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both pastors are more than 70 years old and a number of elderly members and others have compromised health within its congregation, so COVID-19 has been a significant concern. To protect its members the church ceased having in-person services and functions in March.
Since then the church has taken many precautions, including regularly cleaning and sanitizing the space as well as training volunteers on proper procedures for managing the flow of people entering the building. To help bolster their efforts to combat COVID-19 by focusing on cleaner air, Mike Lentz, parish business administrator at St. Joseph the Worker, decided to install the Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization system to their HVAC equipment this summer.
Impressed by the NBPI system’s ability to reduce odors and achieve a greater than 99% reduction of COVID-19, along with the recommendation of its longtime HVAC service provider Yale Mechanical, GPS-FC48-ACTM units were added to the church’s smaller HVAC systems, while GPS-iMOD® units were installed on the larger systems. As Lentz explained, “COVID-19 is the unknown enemy we’re all battling. Anything we can do to reduce the airborne piece of that and reassure our members and staff that we’re taking every measure possible to take care of them as we bring people back inside, boy, it’s well worth it.”
Yale Mechanical made the process easy too. “It took about a week from our approval for the parts to arrive, and the installation was seamless and only took a few hours,” noted Lentz. “I didn’t even realize what was going on and how quickly it was all installed. I couldn’t be happier with how that went.”
Helping to fight pathogens was the primary reason for installing the Needlepoint system, but the St. Joseph the Worker’s staff have noticed a difference in the air quality, which has been an extra bonus. A Lentz explained, a few staff members have heightened sensitivity to fragrances, which had required them to occasionally work from home in the past. Since the NBPI technology was installed, there haven’t been any complaints about odors, and instead many positive comments about how fresh the buildings smell.