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Lyon Site Plan Shows 5 New Buildings at Heifer Campus

2 min read

Lyon College of Batesville on Monday showed off a proposed site plan for a reimagined, 28-acre site that’s currently home to the headquarters of Heifer International.

An entity affiliated with the private liberal arts college, OneHealth Education Group of Little Rock, plans to purchase the 94,000-SF building and land at 1 World Ave. for Lyon’s new Institute for Health Sciences. The institute would oversee Lyon’s new dental and veterinary schools.

Lyon announced plans for the new schools, which would be the state’s first for dentistry and veterinary medicine, in 2022.

The site plan, prepared by Cromwell Architects Engineers and Moses Tucker Partners, both of Little Rock, shows five new structures on the Heifer property. They include two parking decks, an auditorium and two separate buildings for the dental and vet schools.

According to the plan, the institute’s administrative and faculty offices would occupy the first and second floors of the Heifer building.

Heifer will maintain a presence on the building’s upper floors, as will the offices of the Clinton Foundation.

“These plans are the result of months of research and consultation with our founding deans and other industry leaders, and are carefully designed to serve the unique needs of the first dental and vet schools in the state of Arkansas,” Lyon College President Melissa Taverner said in a news release. “The momentum is building and we are excited that we will announce our groundbreaking very soon.”

A Lyon spokesperson said Monday that officials could break ground on the property before the end of the year, after OneHealth closes on the property.

Estimated construction costs, a construction timeline or information about what construction companies might be involved in the project weren’t available.

Lyon is aiming to start dental school classes by as soon as summer 2025, with vet school classes to begin that fall. It has named deans for both schools and started the accreditation process for each.

Construction has already started on another part of the Heifer property — the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is building a 20,000-SF Stella Boyle Smith Music Center, which will expand the ASO’s capacity for programming, rehearsals, performance, broadcasting and music instruction. It will sit at the southeast corner of 3rd Street and World Avenue.

The $9 million center was designed by Witsell Evans Rasco Architects of Little Rock. Bailey Construction & Consulting LLC of Little Rock is the general contractor.

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