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Work continuing to convert Brenau Downtown Center into classrooms
Dustin Sweatt, right, and Roger Clontz, of ASI Signs, fasten a brightly colored sign on the outside wall of the Brenau Downtown Center.

Work to convert the Brenau Downtown Center into classrooms continued Wednesday in Gainesville, a Brenau University official said.

The deck that splits the arena horizontally into two floors has been completed, said David Morrison, Brenau vice president of communications and publications, and new signs are being put up on the side of the building.

Crews are working underneath the deck to finish the space, which will be the first one occupied in the renovated area, he said. They’re starting to do duct work, wiring, plumbing and infrastructure before putting up walls and ceilings and finishing classrooms, laboratories, offices and common space,

The former Georgia Mountains Center arena is being converted into a two-level space that will house the university’s expanded graduate degree programs in physical therapy and other health sciences.

“It is moving along nicely,” Morrison said.

The first class of a new doctoral physical therapy program is expected to start in the first floor of the newly renovated building in January 2014.

Brenau’s expansion is projected to add about 500 to 700 graduate-level students to the city in the next 10 to 12 years.

The project is estimated to cost about $6.5 million, officials have said.

The second floor “will be undeveloped and ready for our next expansion in health sciences,” university President Ed Schrader has said.

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