Auction date set for former Compass Academy property

An unfinished Aiken County building once intended as a private school is set for auction on Oct. 26.


The 53,000-square-foot structure near Aiken was under construction by former financial adviser Jonathan “Jay” Warren Brooks, who had planned to open Compass Academy on the 30-acre lot at 1200 Toolebeck Road.

Earlier this year, Brooks was accused by state regulators of fraud and misuse of investors’ funds in financing the school.

A restraining order filed in the 5th District of South Carolina Court of Common Pleas froze the accounts belonging to Brooks, J. Brooks Financial Inc., Brooks Real Estate Holdings and Compass Academy.

Columbia lawyer Sherri Lydon was appointed by the court as receiver over Compass Academy and the assets of Brooks and his wife, Tracy Brooks, who also was accused of misuse of school funds. Lydon selected Leonardi Bracken Real Estate to market the property.

The building, which is about 70 percent complete, must be sold for at least $500,000, as ordered by the court, said broker Dan Bracken, of Leonardi Bracken Real Estate Inc. It is marketed for future uses, including a school, church, nursing home or meeting center.

The auction is scheduled on the property site at 11 a.m.

The Brookses spent $300,000 to purchase the land and $4.5 million more in construction costs, according to Bracken.

In July, Jonathan Brooks was arrested and accused of taking investment money for a fictional entity called the Charles Howell Trust. A spokesman for the South Carolina attorney general’s office could not say at that time whether Brooks’ arrest was connected to civil complaints filed against Compass Academy.

To view the property, visit

Property once slated for Compass Academy could be auctioned
Compass Academy investors hope to buy assets from receiver
South Carolina judge orders receivership for Compass Academy
Compass Academy officials agree to receivership for school
Judge freezes Compass Academy accounts until hearing is set
South Carolina attorney general seeks receiver for Compass Academy
Aiken businessman, private school's accounts ordered frozen
ONLINE: View The Property