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Lawrenceville News & Announcements

Posted on: October 27, 2020

City of Lawrenceville Adds Health and Safety Upgrades to $35 Million Arts Facility

Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center

Ionization Units, UV Lights, and Hands-free Devices will Create a Safer Facility for All

The City of Lawrenceville is has made considerable progress in its construction of the $35 million Expanded Performing Arts Center on the downtown square, located directly across the street from the Gwinnett County Historic Courthouse. The 56,000 square-foot facility, will be the expanded home of the Aurora Theatre.  In an effort to provide a safer and healthier environment to future patrons, the City has made a significant investment in facility upgrades to improve air quality, offer hands-free devices, create a safe physical environment, and provide appropriate sanitizing equipment for patrons, performers and staff.

“I am very grateful to our City Council for approving these expenditures to create a healthy and safe environment for our citizens to enjoy the theatre and all the many ways the expanded Performing Arts Center will bring art to the community in the future,” said Chuck Warbington, City Manager. “We have explored every avenue to provide state-of-the art air purification and safety features for this facility and are thoroughly satisfied with this plan.”

New features of the Expanded Performing Arts Center approved by the City Council include:

  • Bipolar Ionization Units & Enhanced Air Filtering - Through the installation of bipolar ionization units and enhanced air filtering within the air conditioning systems, the state-of-the-art facility will have air purified on a continual basis and an active air-cleaning strategy consistent with many health care facilities. Recent testing of this technology resulted in viral rate of reduction within the air stream of 90% or more within 60 minutes or less for SARS-CoV-2, Norovirus, Coronavirus, Legionella, MRSA, E. Coli and others.
  • UV Lights – In addition to ionization and filtering, UV lights (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights) will be installed at the HVAC system coils of some units, and in the return air paths of others in the facility.  Use of the UV lights on the HVAC system coils both sterilize and sanitize them, removing mold, bacteria and viruses.  This sanitation also increases the overall life of the HVAC unit, as well. 
  • Hands-Free Devices – From entry doors to plumbing fixtures and toilet accessories, motion sensor activated equipment will be incorporated to provide contactless access. Entry doors will open and close without touching any door handles. All restrooms will have automatic sensors to limit physical contact, as well. 
  • Physical Separation – The same plexiglass separation methodology seen in many customer transaction businesses will be used at the point of sale positions at ticketing and at concessions. In addition, easily moveable plexiglass separation will be used for performers, especially for musicians in the orchestra pit and other areas.
  • Individual Equipment – Additional equipment (headset, wireless microphone, earpiece) is being purchased to prevent sharing of equipment among staff, performers and volunteers during events/performances. Providing individual devices should eliminate spreading of germs which may have occurred when these devices were previously shared. 
  • Sanitation Stations and Equipment – Additional hand sanitizer stations and product are being purchased and positioned throughout the facility. In addition, sanitization dispensing equipment is being purchased to be used in the sterilization processes for the event venues after each event/performance. 

This same strategy for the new Expanded Performing Arts Center is also being incorporated and retrofitted into the existing Bobby Sikes Performing Arts Center and thus creating a safer and healthier campus environment.

“We are extremely grateful to have such a committed partner as the City of Lawrenceville. Creating community means understanding the needs of our community in an ever-changing world. COVID-19 has changed our perception of safety and these additions to the project will create a safer environment for our visitors to enjoy vibrant arts experiences,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director. “Aurora Theatre has been working collaboratively with the City of Lawrenceville - together making sure events happen at the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center as quickly as possible while never compromising the wellbeing of our artists, patrons or staff.”

The Expanded Performing Arts Center will house a 500-seat theater, cabaret, indoor and outdoor civic space and rooms for educational programming. It will be managed by the second largest professional theater company in Georgia and Gwinnett’s only professional theater, Aurora Theatre.  Completion is expected in spring 2021.

For information on this and other news in Lawrenceville, please follow the City on Facebook.

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