Ground broken on new Ardmore gymnasium
ARDMORE, Okla. - Governor Bill Anoatubby led groundbreaking ceremonies Sept. 20 on construction of a new gymnasium in Ardmore.
Located in a place with historic ties to the Chickasaw Nation, the Chickasaw Nation Ardmore Gym will be at 2225 Robinson St. N.W., on the Chickasaw Nation Ardmore campus.
“The new gym will be a welcome addition to our Ardmore campus,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “It is an area that has a long tradition of serving the education needs of Chickasaws and other Native American children. A number of additional services are now available on this campus, which has seen significant expansion over the past several decades.”
Construction of the new 15,300 square-foot gymnasium will offer a place for Chickasaw citizens and community members to gather for group and individual physical activities. The facility will feature a regulation-size basketball court, bleachers to accommodate 460, men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers, lobby and concession area.
The addition of a gym on campus will enhance the Chickasaw Nation’s efforts to support active lifestyles and overall health of Chickasaw people. The facility, Gov. Anoatubby said, would help fulfill the tribe’s mission.
“Maintaining an active lifestyle positively affects Chickasaws of all ages, from our children to our elders,” he said. “Located throughout the Chickasaw Nation, our gyms and wellness centers serve a unique purpose.”
Bloomfield Academy, a Chickasaw boarding school, was re-established on the property in northeast Ardmore in 1917 following a fire that destroyed the original facility near Achille. The school was renamed Carter Seminary in 1932 in honor of Chickasaw Charles D. Carter. It served as a center for education and development for Native youth until the Chickasaw Children’s Village was established in Kingston in 2004.
The school is no longer on the Ardmore property, but its original mission of providing education, advancement and opportunity for Native Americas is carried out with the services available there, including a Chickasaw Nation Health Clinic, Child Development Center, Senior Center, Wellness Center, Area Office, Nutrition Center, Community Center and other facilities.
More than 150 Chickasaws citizens, employees, local leaders and residents joined Gov. Anoatubby for the groundbreaking ceremony.