The Supreme Court of Virginia has temporarily blocked the planned closure of 114-year-old Sweet Briar College, a private school for women.

The decision Tuesday sends the case back to a lower court, where leaders of the college will be questioned over their March announcement to shutter the school by the end of this summer. They cited insurmountable financial challenges and declining enrollment.

But the local county attorney and a determined group of alumnae have battled the decision to close. They have questioned the dire predictions of President James F. Jones Jr. and the school's governing board.

Sweet Briar officials say the institute that operates the school is corporation and doesn't need a court blessing to close. Opponents of the closing say the institute is a trust and subject to court review.