BROKEN BOW – On Thursday, Broken Bow officially became the newest location for a construction project by the Choctaw Nation. A Ground Breaking Ceremony was held for the Choctaw Nation Independent Elder Living Community at 1790 South Park Drive (northwest of the Choctaw Nation Casino in Broken Bow).
Choctaw Nation Housing Authority will construct 10 new residences for local Choctaw seniors, in this first phase, according to Bobby Yandell, Executive Director of Choctaw Nation Housing Authority. “Each unit will be about 850 square feet in size,” Yandell said. “Site preparation has already begun, and construction on the housing will get started after the first of the year.” Future phases call for an additional 10 houses to be built on the site.
Every residence will contain one bedroom, living room, utility room, bath, dining room, and kitchen with appliances. There also will be an individual safe room in each unit. The exterior will feature stone wainscoting, fiber concrete siding, and a metal roof. Two of the units are fully handicap accessible. A covered walkway to the parking area matches the large covered front porches.
Chief Gary Batton noted that this was the third such event in 2017. Earlier this year, ground breakings for senior housing were held in Coalgate and Antlers.
“We want to provide all we can for our elders,” said Chief Batton. He went on to say that it is a focus of the Choctaw Tribal Council. “We hold you in high regards… This is what it’s all about,” he said, gesturing to the seniors near the podium. Chief Batton went on to thank all those connected with the building effort, and those who were in attendance.
Speaker for the Tribal Council Kenny Bryant, and Councilman for District 3, recalled local tribal members in the past who had been active in developing programs and facilities. “We don’t want to forget those who worked years and years ago,” Speaker Bryant said. “These guys set the groundwork, they got it going, and we’re going to try and finish it.”
Councilman Tony Ward, of District 2, which includes Broken Bow, pointed out how the new local project is part of a comprehensive, long-range plan for the Choctaw Nation. “I recently met with a group of Councilmen to come up with a Strategic Plan. We worked it out together, and the whole Council approved it.”
Hard work with thoughtful and fair planning seemed to be topics at the podium. “We’ve got a lot going on,” said Speaker Bryant, before officials, elders and community members took up shovels for the official turning of the earth.