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Athletic academy using local college campus
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Officials with a college prep school for athletes have signed a one-year lease to use the campus of a local catholic college, which closed its doors in April.


Darren Wesley, director of North Georgia College Prep Academy, said about 45 division I athletes arrived last month at the school.


Located next to the Gold Creek Subdivision off Hwy. 136, Southern Catholic College ended its classes due to a lack of funding.


Charlie Auvermann, executive director with the Development Authority of Dawson County, said his understanding was that the lease “offered a chance for Southern Catholic College to continue to use the property in a way that was financially advantageous.”


It was not clear, Auvermann said, if or when Southern Catholic would open its doors again.


Wesley said students are “excited” about the opportunities afforded them by the prep school.


“We get them qualified through our academic process,” Wesley said, adding that the school offers math, science, history and English tutoring to “make sure they get their GPA up.”


According to its Web site, the academy is a non-profit college preparatory school that “prepares student athletes to be successful college students.”


The institution’s mission, it continued, is to “provide student athletes with individual educational opportunities and programs that will help them gain college acceptance.”


Wesley did not say how long the academy would occupy the space at Southern Catholic’s campus.


In an April 7 e-mail to students, staff and faculty of Southern Catholic College, the Rev. Shawn Aaron announced the college would be ending the semester on April 15 instead of May 13 due to a lack of funding.