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Seminary to house new prep school

Date: 7/13/2010

July 14, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

GRANBY -- Founders of the Granby Preparatory Academy are planning to fit the world into the confines of the former St. Hyacinth College and Seminary on School Street.

More than 140 students of varying national identities, speaking myriad languages will traverse the halls -- most recently occupied by Holyoke Catholic High School students -- beginning in 2011. Their classrooms will be equipped with the latest technology including 70-in touch boards and tablet programs preparing students for today's global marketplace.

"It's a new concept for the U.S. on this scale. It's a traditional boarding school but really the difference is that we aren't a non-profit [like Holyoke Catholic] and we'll be benefiting the community by paying taxes," Brian Chatterley, headmaster of Granby Preparatory Academy, said.

The school won't require any additional services from the municipality, according to Granby Town Administrator Chris Martin.

"We looked at a few different places but were pretty happy when we found Granby because Massachusetts is known as the Education State overseas and we thought we'd have a large [presence of] international students," Craig Brewer, managing partner of Granby Preparatory Academy, said, adding international students will make up 50 percent of the school's population.

He explained the facilities and grounds require some minor renovations, including the installation of technology in the classrooms, updating dormitories and common rooms, and building tennis courts and a soccer field.

"We certainly want the latest technology out there [in the classrooms]. We want to be the first school in the U.S. to have multi-user touch screens with Internet access," Chatterley said.

"We'll have all the college prep courses [like other schools], the difference is that we'll have a real focus on global studies and economics," he added. "The world has shrunk with communication now and I think schools in the U.S. have to teach international studies otherwise they're really missing the boat. Our country is just one piece of the puzzle."

Brewer said students would also have access to advanced placement courses, residential life programming and athletics, including badminton, basketball, golf, judo, soccer, softball, tennis, track and volleyball.

He noted there would be "a robust financial aid program" for foreign and domestic students, as annual tuition would total approximately $47,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Brewer said renovations are currently underway, staff members are being hired and applications are being accepted for the fall 2011 semester.