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Ariz. School Backs Off Deal for Free Northfield Campus

By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — An Arizona college has backed out a deal for a free 217-acre campus in Massachusetts, citing unanticipated costs and significant resistance from the town.

Grand Canyon University informed the Oklahoma-based owners of the Northfield campus last week, five weeks after they were named the recipient after an extensive search.

The for-profit Christian college had planned to eventually host 5,000 students at the former campus of the Northfield Mount Hermon School, founded by 19th century evangelist D.L. Moody.

A GCU spokesman said further review uncovered tens of millions of dollars in extra costs. He said it became clear the extensive construction planned would be impossible because of local resistance.

Steve Green, whose family owns the campus, said the family was disheartened by the decision, but would begin a new search.