Provo Mayor Signs Property Title Transfer Clearing Path to Proposed Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine
Developer obtains property title; design and construction on new East Bay Golf holes to begin.
Following an extensive and productive process working with the Provo Mayor’s office, Provo Municipal Council and other involved parties to approve and obtain the location for the proposed Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (NCOM), Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi signed a title transfer to the developer for Wasatch Educational to acquire the property.
The proposed medical school site location is on approximately 21 acres of the northwestern portion of the East Bay Golf Course, which was approved as surplus property by the Provo Municipal Council in January. An additional 7.8-acre contiguous parcel was purchased by the developer from a private source to expand the site location.
Under the agreement, the developers of the proposed medical education campus, which will include the proposed NCOM campus as well as the relocated Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions campus, will fund relocation costs of three current golf holes to the southeastern portion of the course. These new holes will be designed, relocated and playable before construction on the proposed medical education campus begins possibly by the end of 2018.
“This is an exciting time for Provo,” said Dr. John J. Dougherty, founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of NCOM. “We are grateful for the work of Mayor Kaufusi, the Provo Municipal Council and City Administration to make this all come together for the benefit of the people of Provo and Utah. This planned medical education campus will give the students the opportunity to pursue whatever specialty they choose in medicine helping to address the growing medical shortages throughout the state.”
“Provo is a college town through and through,” said Kaufusi. “Education is at the heart of what we’re all about here. So, I’m very excited about the addition of a proposed medical school here in Provo.”
One of the critical goals of the proposed medical school is to recruit, train, and retain students in Utah. “Our plan is to have no less than 50 percent of our enrolled students from or with ties to Utah,” said Dougherty.
Along with other medical schools in Utah, the proposed NCOM would supply doctors to help offset a growing physician shortage. Research from the Utah Medical Association Council estimates that Utah will need approximately 375 new physicians each year to meet increasing access to healthcare needs. In 2015, the American Medical Association ranked Utah 49th in primary care physicians to population ratio and 43rd in overall physicians to population ratios.
Named after the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation, who funded a significant portion of the money for the project, the proposed Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine is positioned to be a premier, world-class medical education and research institution. The proposed curriculum will be a new hybrid based on some of the most innovative and progressive medical education programs in North America designed to prepare physicians to provide high-quality healthcare with a focus on wellness.
The Noorda financial commitment, along with a significant funding commitment from the developer, provides the majority of the funds needed for construction and operation of the proposed Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“The proposed NCOM will not cost the taxpayers a penny and may make a large economic impact to the county each year,” said Dougherty.
According to a recent independent economic impact study by Bonneville Research, the proposed Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine could potentially provide more than $62 million in the construction business, 236 construction-related jobs and bring more than 121 institution-related employment positions to the county. It may attract other health, medical, biomedical, biotechnology, retail, and related spin-off businesses.
In a later phase, a new Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions campus will be built adjacent to the proposed medical institution. At full operation, the local economic impact of the combined schools could be approximately $100 million annually and could include 1,500 jobs with more than $83 million in the construction business. All of this may increase the property tax base including an estimated $8 million directed to the Provo School District in the first 15 years.
The development plans include significant green space in and around the proposed medical education campus, creating a park-like atmosphere to protect and preserve the environment, nature, wildlife, and birdlife.
“Preserving the natural beauty and environment of the existing East Bay Golf Course and that wildlife and birdlife is undisturbed is one of our highest priorities,” said Dougherty. “We intend to have lots of green space, walking trails, biking trails, and preserving the existing golf course waterways as we design the proposed medical education campus.”