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Hobby Lobby plans to buy shuttered Oklahoma college campus

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Hobby Lobby plans to purchase the shuttered campus of what was the only Roman Catholic university in Oklahoma.

Documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Oklahoma City show the arts and crafts chain has agreed to buy the St. Gregory’s University campus for $8 million.

St. Gregory’s was established in 1875 and closed last year over financial problems. The Board of Directors says the decision to close the university was necessary due to a lack of operating funds.

The university had applied for a $12.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but its application was denied.

Following the announcement, 110 faculty members and 550 full-time students were forced to change course and transfer to another university.

The campus in Shawnee went up for sale April 17. Documents say the sale is expected to close in December, but they don’t outline plans for the property.

St. Gregory’s University

The Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The company is owned by the evangelical Christian Green family, which financed the Museum of the Bible in Washington and successfully sued the Obama administration over including the morning-after pill in employee health care coverage.

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