Cherokee Nation Child Development Center nearly complete


The new Cherokee Nation Child Development Center in Stilwell receives final touches before completion in June.

STILWELL, Okla. —The new $4.3 million Cherokee Nation Child Development Center in Stilwell is in its final construction stages and expected to be complete by mid-June.

“I am excited for our children and the employees to have a safe and wonderful new facility,” said Tribal Council member Frankie Hargis of Stilwell. “I greatly appreciate Chief Baker and Deputy Chief Crittenden for getting this project off the planning board and brought to reality for our community. I also want to thank Chris Samples, Kim Whorton and Red Stone for the great job they have done.”

The new 19,000-square-foot center at 308 N. Eighth St., will be almost quadruple the size of the current center, which was built in 1969 and previously used as a health clinic. The new space will double the enrollment of children between 6 weeks old to 3 years of age to more than 80 slots and also create nine additional jobs in the community.

“We have been told for years and years that we are getting a new center, and until recently when you could drive by and see things, it was just unbelievable that it was actually happening,” said Gaynia Jones, the center’s child care coordinator. “Having a facility that is made for children from the beginning, and not made to fit them, will be a whole new experience.”

The center, constructed by Native American-owned Red Stone Construction of Tulsa, will have eight classrooms, four age-appropriate playgrounds, a reading circle area with a cultural spider design and a bell tower. Child-sized bathrooms, windows and other features are also included. Red Stone used nearly 80 percent of Cherokee subcontractors.

“It’s been a very special project, and it is one we care about due to the impact on the community and young people,” said Red Stone Construction President Chris Samples. “Giving our Indian people a head start and more competitive advantage through schooling and technology starts right here with this program.”

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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