A new deal announced Thursday marked the first step toward a new school in Buchanan County, Virginia.
Emory & Henry College and the Appalachian College of Optometry have signed an agreement to develop a school of optometry in Grundy.
The school will be located in the space that was originally built for the campus of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.
A study reveals the school will have an economic impact of $11 million on the region in its second year.
That impact would grow to close to $30 million by the ninth year of its existence.