Carol Frazier held a list of activities for the new Irving Community Center in one hand while she chatted with Ada resident Roxan Penn.

Frazier, who moved to Ada nearly two years ago, said she was impressed with the activities on tap at the new senior center.

“It’s wonderful, absolutely,” she said. “It seems like they have something going on every day, and that’s wonderful.”

Penn, who also lives in Ada, said city officials had put a lot of time and effort into planning activities that would appeal to senior citizens.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I figure you could learn how to quilt and make pottery things,” Penn said. “It’s like they kind of catered to everybody.”

Frazier and Penn joined other Ada residents who flocked to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house Monday at the Irving Center, 530 W. Fifth St. The approximately $4.9 million senior center was financed with part of the proceeds from Ada’s second Penny for Our City sales tax, which provides funding for several capital improvement projects.

Some people wandered through the building on self-guided tours, peeking into the art room or inspecting the shelves of books in the library. Other people found seats in the dining room, where they chatted with friends and acquaintances while the band Toot and Holler entertained the crowd with classic songs.

Ada resident Debbie Wall, who was talking with friends in the dining room, said she was looking forward to spending time at the Irving Center.

“We’re real excited to start going to the dances out here on Wednesday night,” she said. “I go to the Elks Lodge and do line dancing with these ladies, and afterwards we’re hungry because of the exercise. So we’re going to come over here and eat, so we’re excited about that.”

Wall, who leads the nonprofit Sisters Hand in Hand ministry for widows, said the Irving Center’s offers plenty of activities for older women.

“The activities they have blow my mind,” she said. “The sewing and stuff like that, the quilting. Because I work with a lot of the older ladies, those things are just so in tune with what they want.”

The facility offers an array of amenities for seniors, including a full-service library. Other features include a fitness room, a sewing and quilting room, and a multipurpose room equipped with a pool table, a shuffleboard table and other games.

Lunch is available Monday through Friday for people 55 and older, at a cost of $3 per day. A limited number of meal scholarships are available.

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.

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