The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 15, 2013

Wyandotte tribe breaks ground on $1.2 million community center

7,184 square-foot building will include computer lab, safe room, meeting space

By Roger McKinney
rmckinney@joplinglobe.com

WYANDOTTE, Okla. — Construction will start next week on a new, $1.2 million Wyandotte Nation community center.

Officials with the tribe recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking.

The 7,184-square-foot building will include space for a senior center, an activity center, a kitchen and a safe room. It also will house offices of the Wyandotte tribe’s housing department.

The location is 14325 Porcupine Road in Wyandotte. Spokesman William Swaim said construction is expected to start next week, and the community center will open in December, if weather doesn’t delay construction.

Wyandotte Chief Billy Friend said in a news release announcing the groundbreaking that young people can come to the center for recreation. It also would have a computer lab available for use. It also would have space for meetings and family reunions and other celebrations.

“This community center is going to be a great addition for all our citizens who live here,” Friend said in the release.

Friend said the community center is another step in its effort to improve the community. Other efforts have included the Bearskin Healthcare and Wellness Center, the Turtle Tot preschool program. The tribe also supports Wyandotte public schools and builds affordable housing for tribe members.

“All those components it takes to build a community — a strong Indian and Wyandotte community,” Friend said. “We’re adding to those pieces one piece at a time to complete that puzzle.”

Swaim said $800,000 of the construction cost of the project came from a federal Indian Community Development Block Grant.

Builders Unlimited Inc., of Tulsa, is the contractor on the project.