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A worker installs a tile floor in the atrium of the renovated Brooks House.

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Not long now...

Brooks House renovations are in the final stages; first tenants set to arrive in August

BRATTLEBORO—Three years after its gutting by fire, the Brooks House is heading into the home stretch of a $24 million renovation.

On a walk last week through the historic 80,000 square-foot building, one could see the amazing progress made in the past four months.

Wall framing still exposed in March is clad in drywall. Rows of windows fill their frames. Tile was being installed on the floor of the building’s new, two-story atrium. Apartments boast cabinets, carpeting, and plumbing fixtures.

“This is the first time I’ve been involved with a project like this, and it has been an incredible, impressive learning experience,” said building manager Jayne Wood. “Every day, there is something new happening.”

Wood said that Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College are set to move into their space on the second and third floors starting Aug. 4, and expect to open for registration for fall classes by the following week.

Work continues on spaces for three first floor tenants — Wow frozen yogurt; the jewelry store Brilliance; and Duo, the restaurant that will be on the corner of Main and High streets.

Wood said Wow and Duo likely would open first, while Brilliance, which is moving into the space formerly occupied by The Book Cellar, will take longer.

Oak Meadow, which provides progressive homeschooling curricula, is moving into the Brooks House this fall.

Most of the building’s 23 apartments have been rented, but tenants won’t move in right away. Wood said tenants will move in on a staggered schedule — the first ones arriving in mid-August, the last by the end of September.

A grand opening is set for Oct. 3, the Friday of October’s Gallery Walk.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #264 (Wednesday, July 23, 2014). This story appeared on page A1.

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