by STACY HUTTO
The end of an era and a new beginning is fast approaching.
Soon tribal members needing services will be able to take care of everything in one stop.
Currently, services for Choctaw Nation are spread throughout Durant.
By June 18, services will be under one roof at the new Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Headquarters.
The new headquarters is a five-story, 500,000 square-foot facility and will provide a centralized area dedicated to serving Choctaw tribal members.
Currently, Choctaw Nation programs are spread throughout many different buildings in Durant and the current headquarters is bursting at the seams.
Groups will be moved in phases starting April 5 and all groups should be moved by June 19.
After April 5 it is recommended if a tribal member needs to visit a service program they call (580) 924-8280 or (800) 522-6170 to find out if the program has moved to the new headquarters.
The new headquarters will be located at 1802 Chukka Hina, Durant, Oklahoma, next to the Choctaw Nation Regional Medical Clinic.
Chukka Hina can be accessed from Highway 69/75, or S. Ninth Street.
The campus will include a pond, amphitheater and walking track. The new Choctaw Wellness Center is also located within walking distance.
The new headquarters is close to the Choctaw Nation Child Development Center.
Due to the proximity to the new headquarters, it will make it easier for parents and guardians picking up children to visit needed services, take a walk on the walking trail or enjoy a beautiful day next to the pond.
On Jan. 30, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Choctaw Nation Judicial Center, which will also be located on the campus.
The new courthouse is slated to be completed by the end of the year.
It will be designed of red brick and sandstone, similar to the Capitol building in Tvshka Homma, where the Choctaw Nation began holding tribal court in 1883.
The judicial building will feature three courtrooms, several offices and state-of-the-art technology.
The judicial center will be partnering with other tribal programs to identify resources so non-violent offenders might be able to be provided options such as probation, community service or work to pay back court costs and fines by completing various tasks for the nation.
The Ribboncutting Ceremony for the new Choctaw Nation Headquarters and the new Durant Wellness Center will be held Tuesday, May 22.
Several other facilities are under construction throughout the Choctaw Nation.
New construction includes a new community center in Broken Bow and independent living communities in Coalgate, Antlers and Broken Bow.
Sometime this year a groundbreaking ceremony will be held to begin construction for the second Choctaw Nation Country Mart in Coalgate.
The market will provide a variety of good quality, fresh food in a location considered a food desert.
This spring a groundbreaking is planned to begin construction on the long-awaited Choctaw Nation Cultural Center in Durant.
The cultural center will showcase and preserve Choctaw history.
While it is not new construction, the Oklahoma House and Senate both passed a bill to name 23 county bridges in Southeastern Oklahoma after the Choctaw Code Talkers.
Through a partnership between the Choctaw Nation and the State of Oklahoma, Joseph Oklahombi, one of the original Code Talkers, will have the first bridge dedicated in his name April 19.
by Choctaw Nation
One of the features of the new Choctaw Nation Headquarters campus is a pond and amphitheater. There is also a walking track that goes around the pond and connects the different buildings on the campus. The campus features the Choctaw Nation Regional Medical Clinic, the new Durant Wellness Center and at the end of the year construction of the new Choctaw Nation Judicial building will be completed. The new headquarters is located on Chukka Hina and can be accessed from Highway 69/75 or S. Ninth Street.