Property deal falls through for Lyon College’s veterinary, dental schools

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 8:03 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:02 PM CST
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Lyon College is searching for a new location for its proposed dental and veterinary schools after a deal to purchase property in Little Rock fell through.

The Batesville-based college announced its plan in May 2022 to purchase property on Heifer International’s Little Rock campus through the company OneHealth Education Group.

Vice President of Communications for Heifer International Peter Goldstein confirmed that the deal with OneHealth was no longer active, but could not say why it fell through.

Goldstein also said Heifer plans to continue leasing several floors of the office building.

Lyon College President Dr. Melissa Taverner told K8 News the school still plans to establish the first veterinary and dental schools in Arkansas.

“We are actively collaborating with the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Little Rock, the Clinton Foundation, and the Downtown Little Rock Partnership on our planned dental and veterinary medicine schools, ensuring that the academic programs continue to progress with unwavering momentum,” Dr. Taverner said.

The college is still weighing its options on where the school will be housed.

“I think that Batesville is not off the table, but I think that because of the density of clinical opportunities in and around Little Rock, that really is the main reason we were looking there to begin with,” Dr. Taverner explained.

Though the Heifer International campus was “Plan A” for the college, there were other plans in place, should a situation like this happen.

“We have always had plan b, plan c, and plan b. We are sort of developing those a little more and are hoping we come to a decision very quickly because we want to make sure we are ready for our students that are coming in in the first class,” Taverner added.

Earlier this year, the college said it planned to begin recruiting for classes in late 2024, with classes beginning in the second half of 2025.