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COVID-19 Client Resource Guide and required meeting information

Palmer Events Center Achieves GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation for Cleanliness

March 2, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas – The Palmer Events Center has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Austin Convention Center Department has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention for the facility.

Both the Palmer Events Center and Austin Convention Center have achieved GBAC STAR™ accreditation. As the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, GBAC STAR™ helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies that the Austin Convention Center Department is implementing best practices to prepare the Palmer Events Center’s staff and building for future meetings and events.

“We look forward to welcoming back in person events this year. This certifies that both the Palmer Events Center and Austin Convention Center will continue to operate using specific procedures and protocols,” said Trisha Tatro, Austin Convention Center Department Interim Director. “The GBAC STAR facility accreditation is a performance-based program that certifies best practices to protect and recover from outbreaks and pandemics. It verifies our hard work to protect our staff and our visitors.”

To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, the Palmer Events Center demonstrates compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR™ accreditation at www.gbac.org.

“I’m proud of our Palmer Events Center staff for taking all changes this year in stride. They welcomed the new safety measures and implementations to ensure a clean and safe environment for all workers and guests,” said Taje Allen, Austin Convention Center Department, Interim Facilities Manager. “We are excited about the new equipment that will assist us with infectious disease prevention and disinfection.”

Along with reaching a higher level of cleaning and disinfection, the Austin Convention Center Department has purchased for the Palmer Events Center new sanitation equipment and uses the following products:

• Stearns® ONE PACKS Mark E II Disinfectant/Deodorizer and multipurpose, neutral pH, hospital grade quaternary. A one-step germicide, detergent, deodorizer, fungicide, virucide

• The Sentry 4 UV standalone disinfection machine emits full-spectrum UV light to eliminate up to 99.9% of the bacteria, fungi and viruses in the space, and limit the growth of fungi

• Usage of the handheld electrostatic sprayer. Victory Sprayers’ patented technology provides an electrical charge to solutions, allowing them to wrap conductive surfaces with an effective and even coverage. These machines reduce cross-contamination due to their touchless application

• Equipment will be sanitized before the start of each event and at the end of each day.

“GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said Patricia Olinger, GBAC Executive Director. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, the Palmer Events Center has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.”

About the Palmer Events Center

Nearly 4 million people have attended 1,200-plus events since the Palmer Events Center opened. The venue, with an adjacent 4-story, 1,200-space parking garage is LEED® Gold-certified.

Located at 900 Barton Springs Road, the Palmer Events Center offers two column-free exhibit halls, equaling 70,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet of covered outdoor canopies.

The history of the site dates to 1940 when the City of Austin purchased an airplane hangar on the south shores of Town Lake. The hanger was then converted to an all-purpose City Coliseum that opened in 1949.

In 1959, Palmer Auditorium, known as the Municipal Auditorium, opened. In 1981, the City of Austin rededicated the auditorium to be named the Lester E. Palmer Auditorium in honor of his service as an Austin Council Member and as the Mayor of Austin (1961-67). A 1998 bond election, led to the Town Lake Park development, the building of the current Palmer Events Center, opening in 2002, and the parking garage.

The Palmer Events Center’s design resembles a “Pavilion in the Park,” and the gently asymmetrical sloping roof forms a generous wrap-around porch, making additional outdoor event space.

The venue, with an adjacent 4-story, 1,200-space parking garage, is within a three-mile radius of 11,000 hotel rooms in downtown Austin. The Palmer Events Center is one of two convention and meeting facilities operated by the Austin Convention Center Department.

About the Austin Convention Center

Also GBAC STAR™ accredited, the Austin Convention Center is LEED® Gold-certified and is located in the heart of downtown. The Austin Convention Center Department comprises 301 full-time staff positions and is an enterprise department for the City of Austin. Over 10 million people have attended 6,000+ events, including over 900 conventions, at the convention center since it opened in 1992.

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals, and consulting for building owners and facility managers.

About ISSA

With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.

For more information contact:

Derick Hackett, Senior Public Information Specialist 512.404.4021 or derick.hackett@austintexas.gov

Terri McBride, Public Information and Marketing Manager 512.404.4020 or terri.mcbride@austintexas.gov