City tearing down old Irving Center

Richard R. Barron / The Ada NewsDemolition work continues May 11 on the old Irving Community Center. The city is tearing down the old building to make way for a new senior center.

A demolition crew began tearing down the old Irving Community Center last week to make way for a new senior center.

M and M Wrecking started demolition May 9, and the company’s contract calls for the work to be completed within 60 days, said Scott Lowrance, director of parks and public facilities for the city of Ada.

“However, they feel like it will be quicker,” he said in a May 9 interview.

City officials were scheduled to open construction bids for the new senior center on Tuesday, and officials will take the best bid to the Ada City Council for consideration. If the council accepts the bid, the city will issue a notice to proceed with construction and begin moving forward.

New senior center

The city is replacing the former senior center at the old Irving Center with a new facility at the corner of Fifth and Oak streets, which will include classrooms, a salon, a game room and other amenities.

Officials had originally considered remodeling the old Irving Center to house a new senior center, but that option would have been too expensive, Lowrance said. 

“The building had really deteriorated to the point that it was cost-prohibitive to try to rehab it,” he said.

The city will finance the new building with part of the proceeds from the “Penny for Our City” sales tax, which funds a series of capital improvements.

City officials understand the historical significance of the old Irving Center, which began life as a school before the city took ownership, Lowrance said. He added that the city will pay homage to the old building by incorporating some of its features — including the original signs — into the architecture of the new senior center.

“The Irving sign of the rising sun that sits on the right side of the building — our goal is to put it above the outdoor fireplace (of the new facility),” he said. “And then obviously, we’ll find a place for the dedication sign as well.”

Lowrance said the new facility will be named the Irving Community Center in another tribute to the old building.

When it is up and running, the new facility will house a meal program for senior citizens and various activities designed for seniors. It will house the city’s recreation office as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have memories of the old Irving Center that you would like to share, please email Eric Swanson at eswanson@theadanews.com.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.