Improvements, conferences on target for Nolan Center


Greg Knight

Work is ongoing at the Nolan Center to beautify the grounds and improve the facility.

The Nolan Center is currently undergoing work to beautify and improve the look and feel of the facility, according to Borough Manager Tim Rooney.

The majority of the work is on the waterside green space.

“Staff hopes to have the grass planted soon,” Rooney stated. “This area will become ‘Pet Free’ in order to have an area where citizens and visitors can sit on the grass. There has been a new picnic table donated by the Murkowski family that will be installed under the covered area.

According to Rooney, former Governor Frank Murkowski is also planning on providing financial assistance to the Nolan Center.

Another issue currently facing the facility is the looming Fourth of July celebration – and finding ways to keep the grounds clean.

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“With the Independence Day holiday approaching, staff is currently in the process of hiring someone to patrol the Nolan Center grounds throughout that day,” Rooney added. “The cost of hiring someone to patrol the area ends up being less than the clean-up and damage caused by the fireworks and other activities throughout the day. It also creates an area for families to sit and rest away from all of the smoke and noise.”

After the events of July – the Fourth and Bearfest, which have components that utilize the building – a major conference is also scheduled to come to Wrangell in August.

“The Nolan Center has had two week long bookings this month and are gearing up for the Oncology Conference we have coming the first of August,” Rooney stated. “The conference should bring over $50,000 of business into Wrangell. Continuing to bring this level of business activity into Wrangell is as much of a goal as anything when advertising and promoting the Nolan Center and Wrangell as a conference destination.”

The two-day conference is sponsored by the Denali Oncology Group of Anchorage and will consist of a course presenting advances in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal cancer for practicing medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists.


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