Dispute Over Property for UAMS Ends

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - A disagreement over ownership of the Fayetteville site where the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences wants to open a satellite campus has been resolved.

Lawyers for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs conceded that the property remains in the hands of Washington County, and the department issued a written statement to that effect.

Washington Regional Medical Center once operated there, but has relocated and the old hospital is now used by the state Dept. of Veterans Affairs and Regency Hospital Company, an acute-care provider.

County money built the original hospital and the county leased the property to Washington Regional.  County ownership was questioned because a clause in the 1949 deed that granted the land from the federal government to the county said the land would revert to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs if it no longer was used for medical purposes.

The department's written statement said the plans to turn the old hospital into a medical school will not trigger that clause.

UAMS wants to begin training medical students, resident physicians, pharmacy students and nurses at the nine-acre site within two years.  About 300 medical students are expected on campus by 2012.

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