Sunday, October 19, 2003

Students, retirees share home

The Associated Press

TOLEDO - Alvin Krueger, 86, has no complaints about the new neighbors in his retirement home. A bunch of college students, most of them young women, live right down the hall.

"Why would I want to move?" he asked, grinning broadly.

Students from Mercy College of Northwest Ohio have settled into the Park Lane Retirement Community, one block from the school that specializes in nursing and allied health education.

The college has outgrown the residence hall on the third floor of its building. Last year, Mercy put about a dozen students in Park Lane, a converted 1926 hotel that once hosted Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe. This year 43 students are housed there, all but two of them female.

"I love coming down here every morning and having someone ask how I'm doing," said Danielle Noffsinger, 19, a sophomore from Deshler.

"On a good day, you get two or three hugs on the way up to your room," agreed Meagan Cook, 19, a freshman from Hillsdale, Mich.

Most of Park Lane's 40 retirees are older than 70, and say they enjoy the students, who stop to chat or join games of cards or bingo.

Some students say their schoolwork gets in the way of doing more with the older residents.

"We're jealous," Cook said. "They're going to the zoo. We're doing homework. They have better social lives than we do."

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