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Probably a good business decision. Often, free ain't, particularly on a property that may have lots of deferred maintenance; after all, the previous owner didn't give it away because it was making lots of money and able to maintain the property well.

Sounds like the local government did not want more students in the area.

It's probably also due to the fact that Western Mass in one of the most anti development places I can think of in the entire USA. I have met people who were ideologically even opposed to cell phones there - and quite a few of them. The irony is that there is quite a bit of poverty there and some lefties find it hard to connect the dots between a lack of jobs or very low paying ones and being anti-development.

The cost of putting in a Grand Canyon was prohibitive.

Not too surprising that a town of 3,000 would be worried about a 5,000 student campus and being asked to help cover $30,000,000 in infrastructure. Sounds like it wasn't a financial or cultural fit for either.

Probably a good call.

I wouldn't be surprised if anti-Christian bias also played a part, though I have no evidence of that. .

Quite a few Christian churches and a temple in the area, but no mosques ... http://www.google.com/search?q=northfield,+ma+churches

The orginal school was founded by a Christian evangelist.

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