EMORY, Va. -

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.