The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority has reclassified 200 acres of land donated to a planned medical school near Fort Smith.
The action changes permitted use of the land from mixed commercial and residential to institutional and clears the way for building permits.
The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation announced plans in February for what it calls the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The foundation's board of directors committed $58 million to the project and the Redevelopment Authority donated the land.
Redevelopment Authority Director Ivy Owen told the Times Record that medical school officials hope to break ground on the project by the end of the year.
The proposed college will enroll 150 students per year for a total of 600 students with plans to begin classes by August 2017.