TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —Construction of a new $4.3 million Jack Brown Center, featuring a ropes course and equine therapy program, officially kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, April 26.
The new 25,000-square-foot facility will be located on the Male Seminary Recreation Center campus off Fourth Street in Tahlequah. The expansion from its current Sequoyah Schools’ campus will increase Native American youth served in the 13-week recovery program from 20 beds to 36 beds. An estimated nine permanent jobs will be added.
“This groundbreaking for a new Jack Brown Center is a major accomplishment for Cherokee Nation, employees, communities, and especially for the youth that are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction issues,” Darren Dry, director of the Jack Brown Center, said. “This new facility has so much potential and will allow us to increase our resources in the recovery process to further assist our Native youth needing a solid recovery foundation.”
The facility was designed by Cherokee TERO vendor Selser Schaefer Architects of Tulsa. Red Stone Construction Services, also a TERO vendor of Tulsa, is the contractor.
“Access to better health care has been a major part of the emphasis of Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden,” Hembree said. “There is no issue more important to this administration or to the Cherokee Nation than improving the health care opportunities for our citizens. Part of that mission, to become a healthier nation, involves strategic investments in mental health and substance abuse, especially for those members of our nation who are the most vulnerable, our youth and our teens.”
The Jack Brown Center has served at least 1,700 Native American youth with substance abuse problems by providing opportunities for education and mental, spiritual, emotional and physical growth through treatment. The new center is expected to open in early 2014.
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