LIMA — It won’t be long now before you’ll start to see the final buildings come down for the Rhodes State College downtown Lima project.
Last week the Design Review Board considered the City of Lima’s and Rhodes State College’s Application for Appropriateness for the demolition of four parcels downtown that will be used for the college’s expansion.
“The board did grant the certificate of occupancy which means it’s green-lighted to be demolished from their perspective. The proposed demolition date is February 19th,” said Howard Elstro, City of Lima Public Works Director. “Two of the parcels are owned by the City of Lima, two of the parcels are owned by RSCF LLC (Rhodes State College Foundation).”
In a filing before the Design Review Board, Elstro noted the City of Lima has submitted all required filings and obtained approval for demolition from the Ohio State Historical Preservation Office. It is Rhodes State’s intention, once the demolition is complete, to commence with the design phase of the Center for Health Science Education and Innovation and proceed with construction.
“That’s the last parcel in demolition that needs to occur, so this stages Rhodes for going ahead and hiring the architect and do the plans and proceed to bid and build,” Elstro said.
The whole process of acquiring the properties was complicated by owners that were reluctant to sell, according to Elstro.
“There were two parcel holders that were resistant to negotiate a palatable arrangement with Rhodes, so these last two parcels, being 2 and 4 Town Square and then there’s an empty lot that’s just northeast of that building which is owned by Baker-Cleeves, those two parcel holders were holdouts, and so the City [of Lima] had to file and do a take [eminent domain] on those properties,” he said.
The City of Lima took title to the two remaining parcels in early November.
At the Jan. 22 Lima City Council meeting, members will consider a contract with Ben’s Construction to demolish the remaining buildings.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.