Lyon College of Batesville announced Thursday morning that it will be purchasing the world headquarters of Heifer International in downtown Little Rock for its new veterinary and dental schools.
Details of the sale were not provided. As part of the deal, Heifer will continue to occupy the top two floors of the four-story facility, built in 2006. Lyon will use the corporate campus for planned dental and veterinary schools, part of its new Institute of Health Sciences.
In April, Lyon College revealed plans to develop the schools, both of which would represent the first of their kind in the state.
“We are thrilled to locate the Lyon College Institute of Health Sciences at 1 World Avenue,” said Dr. Melissa Taverner, president of Lyon College. “We are excited to share space with Heifer International, which has dedicated more than seventy years to improving human nutrition and animal health locally and abroad.”
Meanwhile, Heifer International has signed a long-term lease to remain at the campus, occupying a reduced footprint in the main building. The organization is redesigning its office space, focusing on strengthening collaboration and partnership across its global network.
“Heifer International has reiterated its commitment to Little Rock by signing a long-term lease and we are excited to welcome new values-aligned partners to the campus,” said Hilary Haddigan, chief of Mission Effectiveness at Heifer International. “Selling the Little Rock campus enables us to unlock more resources in support of our life-changing work to end global hunger and poverty, while providing more flexible work options to staff.”
The main building at the campus will host other tenants including the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, the event venue space will honor all bookings through the end of 2023.
Lyon will partner with OneHealth Education Group to launch the programs. OneHealth works with schools to launch professional health-science programs with an emphasis on reducing debt burdens for graduating professionals and delivering health-care access to communities that lack it. In this case, the state represents a community without local access to veterinary or dental graduate education.
Lyon is the oldest independent college in the state. Its enrollment for the fall of 2021 was 665 students. It was founded in 1872 as Arkansas College.