As summer turned to fall, two events marked the ongoing progress of an exciting project in downtown Lima. In late August, a milestone was etched in steel as Chancellor Randy Gardner joined other state and Rhodes State College leaders for a “Top Off” signing ceremony at the new Center for Health Science Education and Innovation (CHSEI) in downtown Lima. And in September, the Rhodes State Board of Trustees approved the naming of the new facility as the Borra Center for Health Sciences.
Joining the Chancellor at the August event were Rhodes State President Dr. Cynthia E. Spiers; Ohio Senator Matt Huffman; College Board Chair Jane Krites; Past College Board Chair Dr. Wilfred Ellis; and Foundation Board Chair Matt Jennings. Together, they marked history for Rhodes State and the region as they signed their names to a steel beam that will be placed to “top off” the project.
Chancellor Gardner, Senator Huffman, and President Spiers offered remarks prior to the signing in the Crouse Performance Hall Lobby of Veterans’ Memorial Civic and Convention Center. The final beam — bearing the signatures — will be placed atop the building to commemorate this phase of the project.
“These kinds of projects just move Ohio forward. They enhance Ohio’s ability to compete, versus other states, to keep talent in Ohio,” Chancellor Gardner said. “So, I’m excited. I’m excited for Lima, for Rhodes State, and for the state of Ohio.”
When the facility name was approved by the board in September, President Spiers cited the Borras’ generosity and support.
“On behalf of Rhodes State College, its students, faculty, and staff, I thank Pier C. Borra and Renee A. Borra for their extreme generosity in advancing our vision for regional health care education,” she said. “The Borra Family Foundation has been a beacon in our scholarship program since 2005, having helped 86 students achieve their dreams of a career in health care. Their generous support for this new facility and the Borra Family Foundation Nursing Pathway Scholarship establishes a meaningful, forward-thinking partnership for many years to come.”
“It is indeed a pleasure to work with Dr. Cynthia Spiers and her highly capable team in leading Rhodes State College into the future of health care education, and we are honored to have our name associated with the new Health Sciences Center,” Pier Borra said. “Renee and I also want to recognize the support of the Lima community during the 37 years that we lived here. We moved to Lima in 1972 and here we started Arbor Health Care, a nursing home company, and CORA Health Service, a rehabilitation business. Our corporate offices were based in Lima and staffed almost entirely by people from the community.”
On schedule to be completed in June 2021, the 50,000-square-foot Borra Center for Health Sciences will be home to five of Rhodes State’s Health Science programs: nursing, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy assistant, emergency medical services, and respiratory care. It will include cutting-edge technology and equipment, as well as high-end simulation suites to support an advanced paradigm of teaching and learning for students seeking health care careers. The technology and learning approach also promotes interdisciplinary education and the ability to connect with other health-serving organizations, along with vast training opportunities for area incumbent health care professionals.