UNR continues to rebuild one year after Argenta Hall explosion

Argenta Dorm Explosion
Argenta Dorm Explosion
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 12:52 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Sunday marked the one year anniversary of the explosion at Argenta Hall.

The incident in 2019 sent shock waves throughout the University of Nevada campus. Over that year the university’s staff has been looking for solutions for students.

“Everybody has been great, understanding, and flexible, and we appreciate that,” said Dean Kennedy, UNR’s Executive Director of Residential Life.

Kennedy took the position early in 2020. He’s been tasked with creating plans to accommodate students who want to live on campus. Argenta Hall is still under construction and isn’t scheduled to be finished until 2021, he said. Nye Hall - which was also damaged by the explosion - should be ready in the next two months.

“(Nye Hall) has all new windows, all new carpeting, and all new lounge furniture,” Kennedy said. “It’s (also) been painted. It will look really sharp.”

The Coronavirus Pandemic has also made Kennedy’s job tough. Each dorm will house less students to keep up with social distancing. There will be designated sick rooms and quarantine floors in case students come in contact with the virus. As for food, the dining commons - also known as D.C. - won’t be ready until 2021.

“We have The Den which is a temporary dining facility right in the middle of campus that will be up and running again this year,” said Kennedy. “At this point (the food) is going to be grab and go. There will not be an opportunity for individuals to serve themselves.”

UNR worked out deals with Canyon Flats, a new complex that is currently under construction, and Uncommon Reno, the building across from Lawlor Events Center, to house 800 students for the year. Students are not expected to live in the casinos. Move-in day will look much different than years past.

“Instead of one move in date we’ll have five days,” Kennedy added. “From August 18 to August 22 there will be check in times. We’re asking students who have a building and room assignment is to sign up for a date and time.”

Campus is expected to fully recover from the Argenta Hall explosion by 2021.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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