LIMA — The city of Lima and Rhodes State College reached an agreement worth $3 million toward developing a downtown satellite location for the college catering to the medical field.
The latest announcement came Wednesday at Lima Mayor David Berger’s weekly news conference.
Lima is committing $3 million in revenue to the project generated from motel and hotel taxes. The city also will assist in the process of demolishing buildings on the southeast side of the town square across from the Civic Center, where the 70,000-square-foot Rhodes Center for Health Science Education and Innovation will be located.
The city is helping Rhodes with finalizing the purchase of real estate needed for the project.
“We have reached an agreement in principle on how we will assist Rhodes to get across the finish line,” Berger said.
Rhodes President Debra McCurdy said the partnership with Rhodes and the city will have big returns for both.
“This is a long-awaited project. With this announcement we know it’s going to continue to signal to this community it is a viable project and it is going to happen,” McCurdy said.
The project is estimated to cost $20 million. Officials would like to have the project complete by the end of 2017 but a firm completion date has not been set and that is hard to say with the uncertainties attached to the acquisition of land, demolition, site preparation, and construction.
Other local businesses and the local hospitals also are involved in the project. McCurdy said the hospitals could use the facility to train employees and the same equipment could be used to train students.
The facility will serve 800 to 1,000 students in programs such as nursing and allied health. There also will be programming for students in general education classes.
Some of the old buildings being acquired or that have been acquired are either unused or in desperate need of repair.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.