Architect selected for Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education has selected Risley & Associates as the lead architectural firm for its proposed Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine to be built at Chaffee Crossing in east Fort Smith.

The Fort Smith-based firm will be paired with Cromwell Architects Engineers of Little Rock to complete the school's master plan, including programming, schematic design and lab and lecture space design, a press release said.

The press release stated that the first building to be designed and built on the campus would house the proposed Osteopathic School and a proposed physician's assistant school.

"The design for that building is expected to be near 100,000 square feet and (either) two (or) three stories tall," the release said, adding that the building will be part of what will eventually be "a four-building quad sitting on the wooded acreage west of Chad Colley Boulevard."

The master plan calls for the buildings to blend in with the surrounding environment.

"We could not be more pleased that Tim (Risley) and his team were selected for the job," said President and CEO Kyle Parker of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education. "After interviewing multiple firms from across the United States, we are confident we have the most experienced talent working on this project."

Risley also expressed his excitement and said his firm would work to keep as much of the work local as possible.

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"90% of the architectural and consulting work will remain local; I'm very proud of that. We've traveled with the College team to view two other similar-type campuses and we'll be incorporating some of those best practices into the overall design."

Risley said once a construction manager has been hired, dirt work could begin as soon as September, with construction beginning during the first quarter of 2015.

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