The first student was accepted at the Dublin Ohio University medical campus last week as construction began.

The first student was accepted at the Dublin Ohio University medical campus last week as construction began.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine began renovations on three buildings at 7001 and 7003 Post Road where the central Ohio campus is expected to open next July.

The campus is being established on Dublin's west side to help meet the need for primary care physicians in central Ohio and the state.

"One purpose of this campus is to fulfill the goal to create more primary care physicians that stay in central Ohio and the most underserved communities," said Roderick McDavis, Ohio University president.

According to Ken Johnson, executive dean of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, 93 percent of the school's students are from Ohio and 60 percent stay in Ohio after graduation.

"We lead the state in the number of graduates that stay in the state to practice," said Bill Burke, the Dublin campus dean.

In fact, Burke graduated from OU and has spent his career in central Ohio.

"I think I'm a pretty good example of what we hope to achieve at this site," Burke said.

The new medical campus will go into buildings that formerly held a garage, offices and the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center.

"We had a good design team that figured out what we need to do," Burke said. "They're working hand in hand with faculty ... ."

A small building that was a garage will become a lab, Burke said.

According to plans for the site, clinical training and assessment and medical research labs are planned for the building at 7001 Post Road.

Offices, learning labs and a group study space are planned for the four-story building at 7003 Post Road.

The project is expected to cost $24.7 million and host a staff of 11.5 full-time faculty members, 13 administrative and support staff members and 15 part-time adjunct faculty members, in addition to Burke.

The first two classes will take 50 students each and the class that starts in 2016 will increase to 60, Burke said.

The Dublin campus will differ from the Athens site.

"What's unique about this campus is in Athens students are there for two years," Burke said, adding that the next two years are spent offsite training at medical facilities. "Here all four years of training can be done in one location."

Thanks to partnerships with OhioHealth, Mount Carmel and Ohio State University, the medical students can complete their last two years of training in central Ohio.

Burke said after the final two years of training, they might be more likely to stay in the area for their residency and beyond.

"If they stay here that long, they may stay to work," he said.