Renovations begin for osteopathic medical school at A-State

Renovations begin for osteopathic medical school at A-State

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students at Arkansas State began having class in the new Humanities and Social Sciences building today and with that construction complete another project on campus can become the focus.

Construction has now moved to Wilson Hall.

Renovations are underway behind the fences that now line the historic Wilson Hall.

The building is being renovated to accommodate the New York Institute of Technology Osteopathic Medical School.

On Thursday the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees approved a $12.6 million plan to renovate and modernize the building.

Charles Welch, Arkansas State University System President, told board members the project will need a short-term, $8 million loan for up to eight years to finance the renovation.

NYIT and A-State are expected to pay about $2.3 million up-front on the project for renovation, technology and furnishings, a news release stated Thursday.

The university's portion will be paid from existing institutional funds and not require a tuition or fee increase, Welch said.

NYIT, according to the release, will pay A-State $300,000 annually to lease the space and another $300,000 annually for maintenance and utilities. Also, NYIT will pay $50 per student for security services and make other payments that will be determined annually.

The partnership between NYIT and Arkansas State was announced in February.

Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for A-State Bill Smith said it's exciting to move on to another project.

“They are in the preliminary phases right now checking things, getting ready, making plans, doing some rudimentary changes inside there,” Smith said.

Smith said the construction is ongoing and should take around a year.

If everything goes as planned, they will welcome around 120 medical students in the fall of 2016.

When those medical students enter the doors of Wilson Hall, it will officially be the first Osteopathic Medical School in the State of Arkansas.

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