This year’s Iditarod checkpoint is on the GILA campus

Richard+Kelly+has+been+to+Galena+four+times%2C+starting+in+2008+as+a+spectator.+He%27s+volunteering+at+the+checkpoint+at+Birchwood+Hall+throughout+the+week.+%22I+love+Galena%2C%22+he+said.+Photo+by+Sarah+Brown.

Photo by Sarah Brown

Richard Kelly has been to Galena four times, starting in 2008 as a spectator. He’s volunteering at the checkpoint at Birchwood Hall throughout the week. “I love Galena,” he said.

By AARON MUNTER and DONAL SPIGHT, staff writers

For the first time, the GILA campus will be used as a checkpoint for this year’s Iditarod.

Seventy-eight teams will be entering the campus from the trails behind the dike and going through the gates by the old BLM barracks. The teams will be led into the open field in front of the cosmetology building, where the dogs will bed down.

The musher will be in Birchwood Hall, the adult dorm next to the cosmetology building.

There are pros and cons to having the checkpoint placement at the GILA campus, said Jon Korta, the local coordinator for the Iditarod checkpoint. The cons were that the checkpoint is far from the community, and the pros are that it allows people to see what our school has to offer.

“I encourage people to come down and check it out,” said Mr. Korta

The first mushers are due to arrive in Galena on Wednesday afternoon.