Online petition looks to stop demolition of historic homes

RENO, Nev (KOLO) -- It's been an ongoing debate with the University of Nevada, Reno, looking to expand: what to do with the Victorian Era homes near campus.

With two of the historic homes set to move, the future of the other ten homes is still up in the air.

UNR officials say a few months ago, a Burning Man development group called Common Ground Urban Development backed out of a contract with the University to move the 10 remaining homes.

UNR President Marc Johnson says Common Ground told them there wasn’t enough time to move the homes, even though the University gave them nine months to do so with a six month extension. Common Ground Urban declined to comment for this story.

The University said in November that demolition would be the next step, if the agreement with Common Ground ends. But the Historic Reno Preservation Society believes there is enough time to find a solution and have launched a Change.org petition with more than 2,000 signatures in a week to stop plans to demolish the homes.

President Johnson says the homes must be moved by the end of 2019, but he says he is open to trying to save as many homes as possible.

"We hope there will be a pleasing outcome that will give us building spaces for growing university and that we can find places to move at least the six homes that have shown to have historic values. I hope that occurs in the next two months," said Johnson.

The University plans to build academic buildings and a parking garage in the area.