IVINS, Utah -- Administrators of a Colorado-based medical school are hoping to make a southern Utah town home to its new campus.
Officials at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine looked at several different locations throughout southern Utah before deciding on 20 acres near the center of town in Ivins, just below Red Mountain.
Ivins City Manager Dale Coulam said it was a pleasant surprise.
“You look at the background for the school, you would think it was named after this sight,” Coulam said.
The Colorado-based medical school has planned an expansion for a couple of years. Vice Dean of Students, Dr. David Park said they focused on southern Utah at the suggestion of local doctors, and saw a need for a greater medical presence.
“We realized that it would really help the people and the population of Utah both in medical education, as well as providing more physicians for Utah -- specifically southern Utah and rural areas,” Park said.
Current plans would build a 100,000-square-foot medical school, with room to expand, and possibly add student housing. The plans are dependent on the school obtaining proper accreditation for the area.
Local residents FOX 13 News spoke with say it’s an exciting thing to have in their community, but hope it doesn’t take away from the small-town feel in Ivins.
“I love that, because it treats a person on a whole, you know,” said Ivins resident Charity Nelson. “It gets down to the root and is more nutrition and wellness. I think that would be awesome to have more alternative physicians here.”
“For me, that’s great,” said Ivins resident Mike Wilson. “It’s more work, it’s more business, more people to serve.”
Coulam said they expect an application for permits within the next couple of months. Groundbreaking is expected in Feburary 2016, and the first students are expected to start in August 2017.