LIMA — Rhodes State College’s Board of Trustees approved the resolution that would allow the college to accept the 23 parcels on the southeast corner of Town Square during its Tuesday afternoon meeting.
With the acquisition finalized, Rhodes State can now begin considering the qualifications of design professionals to begin the plan development for the much-discussed Center for Health Sciences Education & Innovation.
“It’s hard to imagine the day is finally here when we can talk about design rather than acquisition,” Rhodes State President Debra McCurdy said.
The roughly $20 million project aims to bring 500 students into Lima’s downtown, and it has been on the college’s agenda since 2014. In November 2015, McCurdy had set the completion project by 2017, but due to extensive mediation needed to acquire the final parcels, the project continued to be pushed back.
With the parcels now officially in the hands of Rhodes State, final completion for the center is slated for fall 2020. McCurdy said groundbreaking should begin within the next few months after a design is finalized. Early estimates of the size of the project set the square-footage at 70,000.
The downtown expansion has been eagerly awaited by both private and public entities. The City of Lima was heavily involved in securing the necessary parcels for the college, and they approved transferring the final property to the college earlier this year.
Downtown investors have also been gearing up for the additional foot traffic estimated to come with the center’s opening.
The new building will create additional space for the college’s nursing program and, potentially, help Lima become a major educational hub, especially in health care, for a 25-county region.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.