Catholic college may soon open in Franklin County

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NORTHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Plans are in the works to turn a former prep school campus in Franklin County into a college. Thomas Aquinas College, a Catholic institution based in Santa Paula, California, has plans to open a satellite campus at a Northfield property formerly owned by the Northfield-Mount Hermon School.

The property has sat vacant for years after Northfield-Mount Hermon moved all their operations to their main campus in Gill.

Under the agreement, the college can use 22 buildings. But for now they only intend to use 11. Those include some of the residence halls, classroom and administrative buildings, the library, gym, and chapel. The school plans to make repairs and renovations to some of the buildings and have the campus open to students in August 2018.

Thomas Aquinas College plans to open new campus in Northfield

College President Michael McLean told 22News that they had been looking to have a campus along the eastern part of the U.S. for a while. “When we discovered  this opportunity, we came and visited the campus, saw the location, saw the setting and the quality of the buildings and it just seemed like an ideal fit for us.”

McLean told 22News they will recruit 36 students for the first year and will add that number of students over the next four years. McLean said the school plans to gradually increase the number of admitted students and eventually have an enrollment of 350 to 400 students.

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