Mill Building Update

With the first phase of the SSSC Rehabilitation behind us, the SSSC Board is ready to pursue Phase 2. The Mill Building, which is a contributing structure to the Sheldon Jackson Training  School  National  Historic  Landmark, will be our next large capital project. Originally built in 1934 by Sheldon Jackson students, the building was a sawmill where students milled wood that was used for boats and building construction. Today, the building is an integral part of how SSSC delivers its science education and research mission. It is used to store scientific and hatchery equipment, house our maintenance shop, our gift store, and Ludvig’s Chowder Cart operation. The SSSC Building  Committee  is  made  up  of  experts from the board, staff, and community: Chris Kowalczewski, architect and Foraker Group; Steve Clayton, Clayton Construction, Tim Doggett, engineer, Department of Transportation; Mike Martello, SSSC Maintenance Manager; and Lon Garrison. An assessment of the structure has been done, and a conceptual new layout of the floor plan has been configured. The committee is looking at approaches to the renovation, which may include total reconstruction.

Historical Rehabilitation: Phase 1


You might have noticed some commotion around the Science Center  and a huge scaffolding in front of the building. Over the next 4 months the Sitka Sound Science Center will be under rehabilitation to restore the Sage Building back to its 1929 era appearance. The windows will be replaced, roof fixed and the exterior will be repaired and painted. All of these improvements will make our building more energy efficient. We have hired F.D. Thomas, Inc., a contractor specializing in historic concrete structures, to complete this project. The exterior work will last until end of August. The roof is expected to be done in September.  Even though there is going to be so much work going on around our building, inside we will be functioning with our normal programs, education, science and tours. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you will still come to visit us this summer and point any and all visitors our way! Follow this page to keep up with the project

Funding sources include:
Rasmuson Foundation

The Murdock Trust 

Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC)
Ahlgren Family


04/28 – 5/03) : Scaffolding erection and initial set-up begins. Work on new aquarium entrance.


5/5 – 5/10 : Containment is initiated on interior space and exterior containment is underway.


5/19 -5/24: Blasting

Exterior surface blasting of the front (north) face of building. Windows were taken out and the concrete surface was appraised for repair scope.
We built another entrance for our guest. Please come around the side of the building to come visit.

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5/26 – 5/30:

First stage of work on the front of building is complete and the front door is open again. Blasting and construction on the West exterior starts. New signs are put up around building to help explain construction and guide people in the right direction.

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 photo 1


6/9 – 6/13:

Containment is mostly complete in all locations. The north and west exterior building faces have been blasted and workers are down to first floor level on the south side. Lead abatement is largely finished for the exterior. The shipping date for the new windows have been confirmed. Currently demo’ing north side windows, getting steel out and it will be done this week.

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08/11 – 08/15:

A large portion of the concrete repair work on the building is complete. This week we received the windows and the process for installation will begin this week.



08/24 – 08/29

We have WINDOWS! The internal contaminate is coming down and windows are going up. This week we are getting offices ready for our renters and staff to move back.



We had a swell gathering of the community on Alaska Day to celebrate the (near) end of Phase 1 Rehabilitations here at the Sitka Sound Science Center. About 250 people came out to join the fun and share in the food – smoked coho from our own hatchery. Diane Kaplan, from the Rasmuson Foundation spoke as did Mayor Mim McConnell, Representative Jonathan Kreiss Tomkins. The spirit of Molly Ahlgren was felt all around.

ribbon cutting

Gil with scisssors