FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Rain or shine, crews will break ground today (Mar. 3rd) at 11 a.m. on the new Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. If weather does not permit the ceremony to be outside, the groundbreaking will take place in the Janet Huckabee Nature Center.
The first building going up on campus will be the Osteopathic School followed by the Physician’s Assistant School. Crews said the Osteopathic School will be three stories tall located on the west side of Chad Colley Boulevard in Chaffee Crossing.
Specialty schools will also be built. Such as Occupational Therapy and Veterinarian schools. Crews will eventually turn their attention to other areas on campus including several additional small buildings, a main entry for the school, and a pond.
Leaders said local companies are all teaming up to bring this medical school to the area. An investment from the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation is helping make it all happen, as well a grant of 200 acres from the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.
The new medical school will be a four-year college where students can get their residency. It’s all set to be finished in April of 2016, with classes starting in the fall semester.
Upon its completion, leaders say the new Osteopathic School will have a full-time staff, consisting of high-level professors and physicians. The new osteopathic school would be Arkansas’ first college of osteopathic medicine and one of just 31 in the United States.