Today in Meridian, state and local leaders celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of Idaho's first medical college.

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine will be built next to the Idaho State University Meridian campus.

Along with ICOM officials, Gov. Butch Otter, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd, state Sen. Marv Hagedorn, and ISU President Arthur Vailas donned hardhats and picked up shovelfuls of dirt at this morning's ceremony.

Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Robert Hasty called this a day for the history books for Idaho.

"This is a diamond day in the Gem State,” said Hasty. “This is incredibly important. The leadership from the government, from our team, to create Idaho's first medical school."

ICOM will be a privately funded and independently operated institution, but it has affiliation and long-term land lease agreements with ISU.

The college attained pre-accreditation status about two weeks ago and is not taking any applications from prospective students yet.