The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith will add 25 new jobs by the end of the year to support operations at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine and 30 new jobs by the end of 2020 as part of its addition of the Arkansas College of Health Science.

Kyle Parker, president and CEO of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, said Thursday that a groundbreaking on the new college at Chaffee Crossing is set for May 29.

The college currently has 86 employees. The 25 additional jobs will increase the college’s annual payroll to $14 million, Parker noted, with the average salary at $117,000. Jobs to be added include faculty and staff: housekeeping, plant operations, police officers and administrative assistants.

Pending accreditation, the Arkansas College of Health Science will offer doctorates in physical therapy and occupational therapy and a physician assistant’s degree.

Beshears Construction, one of the two general contractors that built the osteopathic medical college, was chosen as the general contractor for this $25 million, 66,000-square-foot addition that is expected to be complete and ready for students by January 2020.

The school will have space for 40 students per class in the physical therapy program, 30 students per class in the occupational therapy program and 40 physician assistant students per class.

The first installment of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, opened its doors to an inaugural class of 162 students in July 2017 with the mission to serve the medically underserved.

Plans for the new school were announced in February 2014. The four-year private school eventually will have about 600 students as the current class progresses and new students begin each year.

Within the next 10-15 years, 1,900 housing units are planned for the neighborhood, including 1,020 single-family detached homes, 625 multi-family homes for rent, 215 single-family attached homes and 125 multi-family homes for sale.