Argenta Dorm Explosion: One Year Later

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 12:13 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Sunday marks one year since a gas explosion damaged Argenta and Nye Halls on the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

According to State Fire Marshal’s report, an initial boiler explosion in Argenta occurred at about 12:42 p.m. on July 5, 2019, during an inspection. A three-inch gas feeder was severed, which led to a 1 p.m. explosion that injured eight people and left both dorms unlivable.

Now one year later, Nye Hall is nearly ready to house students once again.

Dean Kennedy says the dorm will be ready for students this upcoming fall semester. The construction to repair the damage on Nye cost nearly $13,000,000. The University Housing contributed another $521,871 for upgrades which include new carpets, furniture and paint.

With Nye coming back online, that helps fill a critical need for student housing, but it won’t be enough. Especially considering in light of COVID-19 concerns, about 100 spots will remain empty and set aside should students need to quarantine.

“There’s’ a high demand for both incoming and returning students,” Kennedy said. “So having fewer beds available is a challenge. That being said, with this situation, with the pandemic we’re in, it’s a very fluid environment. We have students applying, new students canceling. We’re hoping to be able to house everybody who wants to live on campus, but at this point it’s too early to tell if we’ll be able to accommodate everybody.”

Argenta is still under construction, taking away about 800 beds. The $40,000,000 renovation won’t be complete until the Fall of 2021, so to help fill the gap the University has partnered with two new housing complexes near the campus to house students this year. Students who would have been assign to Argenta will either live in Uncommon Reno or Canyon Flats.

Students can expect other changes this upcoming school year. The Downunder Cafe is still under construction, so the temporary dining tent ‘The Den’ will return. But almost all dining on campus will be grab and go due to the coronavirus.

There will also be no more than two students to a dorm room, and move in day will look a lot different. Instead of the one day rush, it will be spaced out over the course of 5 days and students will need to sign up for a one hour block to move into their dorms.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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