More than $750,000 has been raised through grants and donations, large and small, which has allowed for major projects to be completed--including the construction of elegant marble steps to the main entrance (mostly donated by Omya, Inc.), the renovation of the lobby area, the installation of a wheelchair-accessible lift, the installation of a new fire-suppression system and the installation of a new audiovisual system, complete with theater-sized movie screen, high-definition projector and surround sound. In fall 2009 we installed a modest theatrical lighting system and new curtains on the old stage, so the Town Hall is now a beautiful and functional venue for live performance events. In 2010 we replaced the crumbling cement portico with bluestone, sandblasted and repainted the exterior fire exit stairs from the balcony area, and continued upgrading the electric service within the Hall. The year 2012 brought major renovations to the basement level of the Hall. New bathrooms have been installed (including a new ramp inside the building, cement sidewalk accessing the building, women's, men's, and family bathroom areas) as well as two meeting rooms and a stairway from the back stage to the basement level.
With these upgrades we are able to use the main level of the Town Hall for all kinds of public events from May through October every year. The basement level is heated, so that we are able to offer events and meeting/event space for rent throughout the year there.
The year 2014 brought two grants to the Friends of the Brandon Town Hall. The first was from the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation for $14,500 as matching funds to repair the 10 windows on the main floor of the hall. These windows are 153 years old and need a fair amount of work. The project is anticipated to be completed by May 2015. The second grant was from the Vermont Arts Council in the amount of $4,000 (matching grant) to install a computerized theater lighting system along with electrical upgrades on both the main floor and basement level. This project is anticipated to be completed by May 2015.
To give you an idea of what is ahead for this incredible building these are the projects yet to be done (not listed in any particular order): (1) installing a handicap lift from the ground floor to the stage ($20,000), (2) restoration work on the 1874 balcony and the armory room ($50,000), (3) install an air-conditioning system for the main floor ($100,000), (4) repair the main hall ceiling ($85,000), (5) slate roof repairs - the roof needs to be stripped, new support material installed and slate rehung with new hangers and placement of snow/ice breaks (included in this project will be insulating the attic) ($300,000) and (6) regrading the land for better drainage, landscaping and permanent handicap parking spaces ($50,000). These improvements will allow for a wide variety of uses--from theatrical productions to film screenings to public meetings--all year round.
To view the restoration plan for the Brandon Town Hall, please click one of the links below. The 42-page document* has been divided into four sections for faster downloading. NOTE: the order of project phases may change (for example, the installation of a fire-suppression system, now Phase 2, is described in the plan as Phase 5) due to code or grant requirements or for other reasons, and cost estimates may also change due to inflationary and market forces.
Restoration Plan: Table of Contents, Overview (PDF, 2.9 MB)
Restoration Plan: Plan Drawings (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Restoration Plan: Cost Estimates (PDF, 1.6 MB)
Restoration Plan: Current Conditions* (PDF, 1.1 MB)
*Current Conditions drawings were accurate as of January, 2006. They do not show the work completed since then.