Ada City Schools and the Southern Oklahoma Nutrition Program are teaming up to ensure that Ada’s senior citizens have a place to enjoy lunch this year.

The Ada Board of Education voted 4-0 Monday to approve a site sponsor contract with Southern Oklahoma Nutrition, which provided meals for senior citizens at the Irving Center until it closed last month. Board President Todd Boone was absent.

The agreement is a win-win for the school district and for Ada, said board member Keri Norris.

“I think it’s a great community-school partnership,” she said.

Under the contract, the school district will allow Southern Oklahoma Nutrition to use the Glenwood Resource Center and Ada Junior High School to provide hot lunches for seniors. The program will use the Glenwood Resource Center when school is in session and move to the junior high school during summer vacation and long breaks during the school year.

The district is only supplying space for the program, which receives federal funding to provide meals for seniors.

Southern Oklahoma’s contract with the school district requires the program to keep the premises clean and in proper order, including the gym, cafeteria, kitchen and bathrooms. If the program fails to keep the premises clean, it will be charged a $100 monthly fee for janitorial work.

The one-year contract will run through Sept. 30, 2018, unless it is ended before then. After that date, the contract will renew automatically each year unless it is terminated.

The contract may be terminated upon 30 days’ written notice by either the school district or Southern Oklahoma Nutrition.

If either the agreement or the program are terminated, the program will inventory all equipment and make arrangements to distribute or dispose of it.

Southern Oklahoma Nutrition director Lori Green declined to comment on the contract Tuesday morning because she had not discussed it with school officials yet.

Local officials have been looking for a new place for senior citizens to eat lunch since late September, when the Irving Center closed its doors.

The facility shut down last month so the city could start preparing to demolish the old building and make way for a new senior center. Meal service for seniors was temporarily suspended while Southern Oklahoma Nutrition and city officials looked for a new site.

The city offered a temporary solution Monday, when it announced that Mercy Hospital Ada would provide meals for senior citizens through the end of October while Southern Oklahoma Nutrition relocates to a new site. That arrangement will give Southern Oklahoma Nutrition time to move equipment to the Glenwood site.

Starting today, seniors who want to eat lunch will meet at 11 a.m. at the Irving Center. A bus will take seniors to Mercy at 11:15, and lunch will be served at 11:30. The bus will return to Irving School after lunch.

Those who would like to drive should meet the others at Irving School and follow the bus to Mercy.

In other business, the school board:

• Honored former board member Betty Hilton and former Superintendent Pat Harrison for exemplary service to the school district.

Hilton, who had served on the school board since 1999, resigned in 2016 so she could spend more time with her family. She was replaced by current board member Kyle Stuart.

Harrison spent 30 years working for Ada City Schools, including an 11-year stint as superintendent, before retiring in February 2016.

• Announced that people interested in serving on the school board may file declarations of candidacy between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 4 through 6 at the Pontotoc County Election Board office.

The Office 3, Ward 4 seat, which is currently held by President Todd Boone, is up for election this spring. The primary election is set for Feb. 13, 2018, and a run-off election will take place April 3 if necessary.

Eric Swanson can be contacted by email at

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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.