Design plans released for planned Fort Smith medical school


FORT SMITH — Site designs and floor plans for a proposed medical college in Fort Smith show how the 200-acre campus will look.

The plans show schematics for all three floors and how the overall campus will look situated on the land donated by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority.

Plans were released by Kyle Parker, CEO and president of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, an entity set up under The Degen Foundation to run the future Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Plans for the college were announced in February. Since then, the college building has grown from 60,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet. Including a $14 million private donation, the foundation has more than $80 million to spend on the college. The building itself will likely cost between $21 million and $23 million, Parker said Thursday.

The college hired Dr. Kenneth A. Heiles, D.O., as dean. Heiles has been the associate dean of Graduate Medical Education at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

“We’re already well on our way to hiring our associate deans,” Parker said. “None of those have been announced because they’re under contract right now with other schools. They’re all from existing medical schools across the country.”

Dirt work for the college is set to begin in mid-September. It is expected to be completed by April 2016.