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Published: Tuesday, 4/2/2002

Student housing delayed at Lourdes

Lourdes College has delayed a plan to offer student housing in apartments near campus until at least 2004.

Bringing 200 residential students to the Sylvania college in 2003 was part of a larger plan that included establishing NCAA Division III athletics.

When it became evident that it will take longer than expected to join the athletics organization, the college decided to hold off on the housing, a Lourdes official said yesterday.

"When the NCAA thing came up, we realized that this is a major recruiting tool and that maybe we should slow down a bit and wait until we have our athletic programs in place," said Mary Arquette, vice president for institutional advancement.

"I think it's just a slowing down of the pace. It isn't a change of vision," she said.

The Catholic college of 1,400 students announced its plans in October when it bought Yankee Square Apartments in the 5200 block of South Main Street and signed an agreement to lease the units in Whitehall Apartments in the 5300 block of South Main beginning June 1.

The goal was to lure more traditional-age students to the college.

Some neighbors opposed the plan to house students in the off-campus apartments, contending it would change the character of the neighborhood.

Now residents of the apartment buildings will not have to move out until 2004 at the earliest instead of next spring, college officials said.

"I'm glad, because I really don't want to move. My apartment's small, but I like it," said Betty Power, 81, who has lived in Yankee Square Apartments for 15 years. "I was planning on staying through the summer and beginning to look in the fall ... but now I won't have to."

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