Drawing depicts new center

First Posted: 1/31/2015

LIMA — The vision for the new health science center Rhodes State College plans to build in Lima’s Town Square is continuing to come into focus.

The college has released two preliminary renderings of how the center could look on the square’s southeast corner once completed. Rhodes State president Dr. Debra McCurdy emphasized that the building design may continue to evolve between now and when construction is completed.

“What you’re seeing is a concept, that it will have an outdoor walkway and pavilion as well as a bridge going over to the Civic Center so we can establish that relationship and move culinary arts over there,” she said. “It would take up a great part of the Town Wquare and complement what’s already there, acting as a dual anchor with the Civic Center.”

Currently, the only visible mark that Rhodes State has made in Town Square are window clings on the buildings it has purchased so far, but with almost half the 26 current properties in question purchased, the project is well past the preliminary stages.

“It’s not preliminary when you’re acquiring buildings,” McCurdy said. “It’s a huge commitment.”

The commitment made by the college is to the tune of $20 million, with 75 percent of that amount already secured by the college, thanks in part to two state grants. Work is continuing on acquiring the final properties in the area where the center will be built, surrounded by South Main, East Spring, South Union and East Market streets. However, that phase may still take some time.

“Some of the buildings have multiple owners,” McCurdy said. “We’re having the appropriate conversations.”

While the renderings offer a great deal of optimism for the project, McCurdy knows that a great deal of work needs to continue to be done before the concept becomes reality.

“There’s a lot of work to do with demolition, so that’s where we are,” she said. “You always want to be further along, but we’re making progress.”

Rhodes State hopes to begin construction next year.