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This two-story reinforced concrete structure was built in the summer of 1929 by Warrack Construction Company of Seattle, which also constructed the Sitka Pioneer Home in 1934. The first building on this site was the Elliott F. Shepard Industrial Building built in 1919 with funds from Mrs. Shepard in memory of her husband, the former editor of the New York Evening Post. The Shepard Building was demolished and replaced with the Sage Building, designed by N.L. Troast of the school staff. This building was named for Russell Sage, an American financier whose second wife donated large sums of money various philanthropic causes. In 1955, the second floor was remodeled for science laboratories, and in 1961 and 1974, renovations were made to create classroom space.
The Sage building originally housed all the classes for the Industrial Training Program, including the shoe shop, print shop, and the carpentry program. The sawmill is located next to this building as well. Many Tlingit Indians learned the art of boat building as well as other trades in this building. The Industrial Training Program eventually developed into the 2-year junior college. Many of the leaders in Alaska today received their education in this building.
The building is generally adequate. However, years of use and deferred maintenance has resulted in a need for rehabilitation. The building is also in need of fire, life safety, and ADA upgrades. It building received National Historical Landmark status on Aug. 7th, 2001.