UNR reaches off campus for student housing assistance

RENO, NV (KOLO) As the investigation and rebuilding of Argenta and Nye Halls continue after an explosion that damaged both, there’s a major focus on re-working the University of Nevada’s housing assignments. The fall semester begins in mid-August.

Plywood, restoration crews and fences surround Argenta and Nye halls on UNR’s campus. Hundreds of students and staff were evacuated and are living elsewhere after Friday’s explosion.

“Taking care of them physically and mentally, food and shelter, you all know about... and that was done so quickly by so many people on this campus,” details Shannon Ellis.

She is the University's Vice President of Student Services and adds both affected buildings will likely not be re-opened anytime soon, saying, “We know it will definitely be a year, possibly two years. We are feeling more optimistic than if you asked me two days ago, because we've had a lot more experienced engineers in the building, praising the construction company and the designers for what a great building they built, that withstood this.”

Now comes the task of trying to secure 1,300 beds for the affected students and staff who no longer have a place to live. Alternative housing plans are in the works, as Ellis explains, “We are approaching properties very close to campus, about allowing us to take out a long term lease, and put our resident advisors along with our students in there so they can live in there and experience our residential life.”

The names of those properties are not being released at this time but Ellis says once a deal is reached with some off campus options, she'll be thrilled to pass along the news. Close to 200 students who lived in Argenta during the summer have been moved to Peavine Hall.

The University says it is continuing to help reunite students with their personal belongings.

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