Cherokee Nation Celebrates Grand Opening of New Community Center

MARBLE CITY, OK – Cherokee Nation and Marble City leaders met with hundreds of members of the community to celebrate the grand opening of the new Marble City Community Center. The celebration included tours of the new community building, live music and a luncheon. The new facility is a $10 million investment from the tribe.

“It is an incredible day to celebrate the Marble City Community Center grand opening,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We are constantly investing resources into our rural communities across the reservation. This new community center will be easily accessible to more than 11,000 Cherokee citizens who are within 15 miles of Marble City. Seeing this investment come to fruition is inspiring and I’m thrilled to see the community of Marble City get to enjoy this new building and all the amenities that come with it.”

The Marble City Community Center is a 22,800 sq. ft. building with space for a clothing resource center, food pantry, wellness space, meeting areas and a teaching area. It also includes new playground equipment, a basketball court and a covered outdoor gathering space. The new community center will also be home to a Cherokee community organization.

Cherokee Marble City Ribboncutting

“Being here to celebrate this community is extremely special,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “This community building will be such a blessing for not only the Cherokee community in Marble City, but Cherokees in surrounding areas as well. This building will provide a place for fellowship, community, education, health and wellness and so much more for many generations to come. These investments in our communities are vital to Cherokee well-being as a whole and I cannot wait to see the great memories and the growth of a community through the use of this building.”

The new community center is located where the town’s longstanding school gymnasium previously sat. In January 2023, before the demolition of the school’s gym, Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner met with leaders from the town and Cherokee community organization to set aside materials from the former gym so they could be used in the design and construction of the new center. Construction of the Marble City Community Center also provided an opportunity for millions of dollars in local water infrastructure improvements.

During the grand opening celebration, Chief Hoskin signed a memorandum of understanding with Marble City Food Pantry and Youth Services to utilize portions of the facility for its non-profit operations addressing food security efforts and youth activities. Marble City Food Pantry and Youth Services is a longstanding Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach participating organization. The new facility will be staffed by the tribe’s Public Health Department.

“The grand opening marks the beginning of a whole new future for the town,” said Marble City Mayor Tamara Hibbard. “We’ll have more activities and engagement with the community, so the town is really excited. I was born and raised in Marble City. Growing up in a small town and seeing something this massive that Cherokee Nation would be so much resource into our little community is pretty amazing – that they would consider our small community for something as amazing as this.”