Renovations are moving forward on the Chief Shakes Island Tribal House. The foundation of the newly renovated building is complete, construction crews are raising the walls, and adzers are diligently preparing the wood. The project was recently helped along by a $250,000 donation from the Rasmuson Foundation. Tis Peterman with the Wrangell Cooperative Association said that brings the total up to $964,000 for the house construction portion of the project, which should be almost enough to complete the job.

The Rasmuson Foundation also donated $125,000 toward phase two of the project, building a carving facility. The new building would include a carving workshop, a retail area, and classrooms where artists could teach different skills. According to Peterman, the WCA will only pay a dollar per year to the Tlingit and Haida Housing Authority for the 75-year lease.

“It’s going to be on the site of the old Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall that stood there for years,” she explained. “And that was sort of like a community gathering place, and we’re hoping that this facility will become one, too.”

The architectural plans for the facility are complete and can be viewed at the WCA office downtown.