Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks Vermont Timberworks reopening after rebuild

Vermont Timberworks owners Doug Friant and Dan Kelleher cut the ribbon during their re-opening ceremony. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Almost a year after a devastating fire destroyed this Springfield timber frame company, Vermont Timberworks officially reopened their new building with a spirited and Covid-conscious ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The September 2019 fire, which was determined to be the result of spontaneous combustion in a nearby dumpster, resulted in a complete loss of the building as well as tools, equipment, and vehicles, some of which were irreplaceable.

According to co-owner Doug Friant, the yearlong rebuild has been “quite the journey.” The company was completely down for a few months but was able to rent space in a nearby facility and continue working while the new Vermont Timberworks building was taking shape.

The building, which accommodates from 14-20 workers depending on the workload, is a close duplication of the previous building with just a few differences, including offices reconfigured to allow for social distancing and upgrades to meet higher ADA standards. They also added a large assembly area and of particular note, an extensive sprinkler system, something that Friant believes would have saved the older building. “Hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood, we’ll never have another fire,” he said.

The finishing touches are still being done to some areas and equipment is continuing to be moved in but that should be complete in a few weeks.

Overall Friant is grateful to be back in business in their old location. Although some of his projects are waiting to be shipped out due to Covid-related delays on the other end, they have not seen a business impact due to Covid-19. “I can’t complain. We’re fortunate because we’re busy,” Friant said.

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