Bright new day dims at Chilocco / Drug-alcohol center mired in controversy - 1992-03-09
For eight years, the historic Chilocco Indian School campus stood empty, battered by weather and time.
But the promise of a new life, an era of prosperity, arose when a 25-year contract with a California drug and alcohol treatment center was signed in 1988.
Narconon International predicted that it would generate $16 million for five Oklahoma Indian tribes that share the campus, boost revenue for struggling area merchants and eventually become the largest treatment center in the world, with space for 1,000 clients.
"Everyone thought it was great," recalled Newkirk Mayor Garry Bilger. "We didn't think anyone would lose."
High hopes soon turned to harsh words and hostility.