Rhodes downtown project moving under new leadership

By Josh Ellerbrock - jellerbrock@limanews.com

LIMA — A month after former president Dr. Debra McCurdy vacated the position, Rhodes State College’s downtown expansion is moving along through its pre-design phase, as stakeholders hammer out details with the project’s architects.

“We have been meeting weekly with the architects,” Interim President Cynthia Spiers said in a written statement. “Last week, we completed our first charette session, during which college leadership, along with health sciences program faculty, chairs and deans collaborated with consultants on essential elements of building schematics and details prior to moving into a design phase.”

Many Lima residents have expressed concerns that the project would flounder as soon as McCurdy, who helped initiate the project back in 2010, left to serve as president of Baltimore City Community College in April.

Spiers took over as interim president on April 10 and will serve in the position until the college appoints a permanent president. The college began advertising for the position in higher education journals this past March.

Before leaving the position, McCurdy reiterated the college is dedicated to constructing the downtown project and is on track for a 2020 fourth-quarter completion date. Under that timeline, the college would have a year and half to hit the deadline.

College spokesperson Melissa Sponseller said more specific details on the project will be available soon.

“This project is a reality, and it is exciting to be engaged in these discussions about the space, technology and functions related to the Center for Health Science Education and Innovation,” Spiers said.

The Rhodes State College downtown project has had a difficult history gaining momentum due to legal issues associated with eminent domain as the college worked with the City of Lima to obtain a number of downtown parcels southeast of Town Square.

Those issues were resolved in April 2017, but a groundbreaking date has yet to be set.


By Josh Ellerbrock


Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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