Arizona school backs off deal for free Massachusetts campus

By JAY LINDSAY Published: October 30, 2012
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BOSTON (AP) — An Arizona college has backed out a deal for a free 217-acre campus in Massachusetts, citing tens of millions in unanticipated costs.

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.

But Grand Canyon President Brian Mueller said officials uncovered about $30 million in extra costs for various infrastructure upgrades. He said that made the financial risk too great.

Steve Green, whose family owns the campus, says they are disheartened by the decision but will begin a new search.