Trustees Approve $1.7M For UAMS

FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — University of Arkansas trustees have approved a $1.7 million renovation at the school’s medical campus in Fayetteville.

Trustees on Monday (July 16) unanimously approved the renovations to support classrooms and lab space for students in a new occupational therapy program, the AP reports.

The three-year, clinical doctorate program expects to enroll its first students in 2020, said Program Director Sherry Muir. The program will be overseen by both the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Occupational therapists have a range of duties, including working with children and elderly people in health care settings, schools and mental health facilities, among other places, Muir said.

The classroom and lab space will accompany additional learning space under renovation at the university’s Fayetteville campus, where students will train in an “old house” setting with narrow doors and a tight stairway.

The “old house” facility is being remodeled with a budget of about $450,000, according to Steve Voorhies, a university spokesman.

“We’re designing the space so that it’s very flexible, so that each space can be used for multiple purposes and also can be used inter-professionally,” Muir said.

Muir said there’s a shortage of occupational therapists in Arkansas and around the country. The University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas State University also have occupational therapy doctoral programs.