"All of the rock came from the landslide that closed off the Whittier Road for several months last year," explained Ethan Tyler, the director for business development at the center.
The center hopes this $5 million project will lay the foundation for the future, a place to both view and study bears.
"There's a real small entryway, but there's lots of room inside so the bears can get in there and den down," Tyler said.
Kuma, whose name is Japanese for bear, is having trouble getting to sleep this winter.
"He's just looking for something to do. He's bored because he got up in the middle of winter," Miller explained.
Kuma has another problem. Uli doesn't want to share her den.
"With her mouth like that, that's how they do when they're catching salmon and stuff, telling each other to stay away," Miller explained as the two bears grunted at each other.
Staying away-- that's hard for tourists when it comes to bears, and the bears' new home is expected to be a huge draw.
The wood bison restoration project also needs some attention.
The weekday closures will give the staff time to get ready for veterinarians to do some tests in February.
"It's to ensure that when they're released back into the wild, they don't carry anything into the wild that has not been there in the past," Tyler explained.
The closures make sense in another way. These days, the animals definitely outnumber the tourists.
"Everybody's holding on to their cards and not making a move. And we thought, with the economy this year and possibly next winter, it'd be two good winters just to slow down and get things done," Miller said.
Kuma hopefully will get back to hibernating, but for the rest of the folks here, the next few months definitely won't be a time of hibernation.
"Most of the time it's just another project and everybody's out there doing it. This one's filled with love, a lot of group love," said Pat McGhan, the rock wall builder.
Love, and expectation of better things to come.
The center is also working to raise money for its new bear habitat which is set to open in 2013.
The Wildlife Conservation Center is open on the weekends and will resume its regular schedule in March when the Iditarod brings more tourists to town.
Contact Rhonda McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org