Trades workers are busy at 300 Watson St.

On the first floor, in a space that once housed a bar, the room has been cleaned out to the 163-year-old stone foundations and a faux-tin ceiling is being installed.

In the main room, plastic sheets drape the walls as painters just applied a fresh coat of brown above.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the smell of sawdust hangs in the air as carpenters build out the window casings.

For a building once considered a loss, what’s now called the “Historic Mapes Hotel” is full of life.

Construction has been ongoing at the site for months since the Rogers family announced it would turn the lower level into meeting space and the upper floors into Airbnbs.

But now the excitement there has a completion date not too far in the future: spring 2020.

Given the opportunity, Tom Rogers Sr. oozes excitement at seeing one of Ripon’s oldest buildings regain its luster.

“I do not want to open this until we have everything in place, which means landscaping, all the outside work,” he said. “We have to wait for spring for that.”

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