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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I like to put a little bling in it ...

I like to put a little bling in it.

Those were Project Manager Todd White's words as we admired the Tribal House from the boardwalk.

"The copper flashing will tarnish over time, but it's blinging right now," added White.  "But we're not doing anything different.  That's the same way they made the original Tribal House."

The shiny trim definitely strikes you, just like the smell of cedar and wood stain that fills your nose after crossing half of the 300 yard boardwalk.  The walls have been up for months, the roof on now for weeks, but it still shocks you as to how awesome Shakes Island looks on a sunny day.  That fact hasn't distracted White from his goal of having the island perfect by the time Re-dedication rolls around in May.

"It's going to take a while still," said White.  "We had to re-locate the temporary carving shed, which set us back some work-time.  We also took the time to cover the totems located on the island to protect them from the weather.  We're looking at finishing the floors, then lighting, heat and electricity. And if it turns out we're short a little Cedar, we may be looking for new logs to mill and adze to finish the floor."

Despite the setbacks, White says the project is still ahead of schedule, and is happy to say the last couple months of Southeast Alaskan storms haven't figured out the new roofing system.

In addition to the classic Cedar planks and shakes, White has added layers of 3/4" plywood and waterproof membrane.  Heavy rain and winds have come and gone without so much as a drop seeing the inside of the house and the new foundation.

"After all is done, we're still going to need a window of cool, dry weather to get the house posts and artifacts back inside," said White.  "And Wrangellites know it's tough to predict the weather, especially in the Winter."

"The building is golden," said WCA's Tis Peterman.  "It's encouraging to see the Tribal House progressing like it is.  It's in the latter stages of construction and after nearly 10 years of pushing, it's nice to not have to worry about it getting finished.  Now we can turn our attention squarely on the Re-dedication."

Nearly 700 have RSVP'd for the ceremony, scheduled for May 3rd & 4th, 2013.  That number consists of donors, dancers and canoers, not individual travelers.  Hotels, B&B's and rentals have been booked up, so we're going to need help from the community to pull this Re-dedication off.  If you can house, or help the Re-dedication in any way, contact the WCA.

Click here for a schedule of events for the Re-dedication.

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