As an advocate for senior citizens, Billie Floyd couldn’t be more excited to see the city of Ada start work on a new center designed especially for seniors.

Floyd and several other seniors turned out for a short groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday evening at 704 N. Oak St., the site of the new Irving Community Center.

Floyd said the new senior center will offer a variety of programs and services for seniors, such as wellness checks.

“One of the things I’m excited about is, we’re going to have a place for blood pressure, diabetes — routine things,” she said. “Now, not an emergency room, but the routine care, so that our seniors will have it right there where they can come and get that.”

The city is slated to begin construction immediately on the new Irving Center, which will replace the old Irving Center. The old facility was torn down earlier this year to make way for the new building.

The one-story, 16,000-square-foot building will be located in the same spot as the original Irving Center, When it is finished, the approximately $4 million facility will include a library, a dining hall, game and exercise rooms, an outside patio and other amenities.

The facility will give senior citizens a place where they can gather and enjoy various activities, said Assistant City Manager Angie Dean.

“It’s really going to be a state-of-the-art facility that will truly serve our senior citizens,” she said. “It’s long past due, and I’m so excited that we’re at this point where we can break ground and not only build a facility that will serve our seniors but also honor the past and our history with the Irving Community Center.”

Parks and public facilities director Scott Lowrance said in his 2 1/2 years on the job, he has become familiar with the problems that plagued the old Irving Center. He said he was looking forward to starting work on the new building and making sure Ada’s senior citizens got the services they deserve.

“At this point, we’re excited about breaking ground today and getting ready to put a little bit of nice building back into this position in order to make sure that our seniors are served correctly and well,” Lowrance said.

The architectural firm Rees Associates designed the new senior center, and MacHill Construction is overseeing construction. The city is funding the project with part of the proceeds from the second “Penny for Our City” sales tax.

Voters approved the sales tax extension in 2015 to found a series of capital improvements.

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.