BROKEN BOW – A Ground Breaking Ceremony for a new Choctaw Nation Community Center brought welcome news to the turnout on a humid summer day in Broken Bow.
The ceremony was held Tuesday morning, July 25, on the site of the new facility, 1346 E. Martin Luther King Dr. in Broken Bow.
Chief Gary Batton, Assistant Chief Jack Austin Jr., Choctaw Nation Tribal Councilman for District 2 Tony Ward, other members of the council, and local officials were among those on hand to show their support of the project.
“It’s always an honor to do a Ground Breaking Ceremony,” Chief Gary Batton said. “The Council has invested into this new community center and stickball field. It’s all about growing our communities and about providing opportunities for our elders. We want people to come here, and we want jobs for our children and grandchildren, but we want to keep the family atmosphere and the natural beauty of the area.”
He also noted how it was the latest of several facilities the Choctaw Nation currently has under construction across 10½ counties of southeastern Oklahoma.
“We’ve got this building going on and a lot of construction going on in the Choctaw Nation, and it shows the leadership of this Council,” Councilman Tony Ward said. “They are really doing a fine job trying to do something for our people in each district.” He added that other ground breakings are expected soon in Broken Bow, including one for Independent Elder Living residences.
The new Choctaw Nation Community Center will replace the existing one, built in 1996 and located a couple of blocks east at 210 S. Chahta Rd., according to Wanda Sanders, Field Office Representative in Broken Bow.
At 10,287 square feet, “The new one will be larger,” Sanders said. “With the addition of so many offices and programs in recent years, we’ve outgrown the one we’re in. There will be more parking, too.” It will also be more convenient, being situated between the Choctaw Nation Clinic and Food Distribution Center, she added.