The for-profit Idaho Center for Osteopathic Medicine celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday in Meridian.

But soon, ICOM founder Dan Burrell hopes to help students of the medical school and nearby Idaho State University find a place to live.

“The Boise/Meridian market is extraordinary with what is going on with economic development and one of the pieces of that is housing,” Burell said. “We surveyed students here and at ISU. One of the biggest concerns that they had is that they want to be in a collective collaborative workspace.”

Burrell said it’s an approach already in place at the Burrell School of Osteopathic Medicine, a similar project he developed in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  That school has The Flats at Ridgeview, which Burrell said proved successful and he hopes to duplicate in Meridian.

The Flats at Ridgeview project in Las Cruces, NM. Photo: The Flats at Ridgeview.

“(You have) classroom space piped in and students feel like they are able to ping ideas off of each other and work in a collaborative way,” he said. 

The project is currently called the Pine Development, but Burrell said that is likely to change. It is located on 28-acre site just north of Pine Ave. between Locust Grove Rd. and Eagle Rd. – about one mile from the ICOM campus.

The complex has been approved by the City of Meridian and would be built in two phases. The first would include 240 apartments in ten apartment buildings – with a mix of one, two and three bedroom units. Burrell said he hopes the first phase will be complete in time for the second class of students in September 2019.

Site location. Via public filing

The complex would be priced at market rates, but the idea is it would provide extra value to ICOM and ISU students.

“Students feel they are getting a better amenity mix for what is the same price point if they went to a nondescript, nonamenitied complex,” he said.

Those student-centric features include study rooms, links to student subscriptions, proximity to classmates and a dedicated shuttle between the complex and the ICOM/ISU campus.

“Housing was the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s part of our mission. Really what we are here to do is be the best college of osteopathic medicine of the upper mountain west.”

Elevation rendering. Via public filing.