1,300 Students Displaced By UNR Explosion Might Live At Circus Circus

Jul 19, 2019

The Nevada System of Higher Education has unanimously approved University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson's proposal to house 1,300 students at a Circus Circus tower in Downtown Reno.

A gas leak explosion damaged two residential halls earlier this month, leaving hundreds of summer students without housing, and even more who are expected to attend classes in the fall.

Johnson said UNR is in talks with Eldorado Resorts, which operates Circus Circus, to only let students live in a stand-alone, non-gaming tower. Johnson said at a Board of Regents meeting Friday afternoon that officials would like to set up additional shuttles to transport students back and forth from the casino tower to the nearby campus.

"This particular tower would be rebranded to the university," Johnson told the regents, "and the public would have no access to this tower."

UNR is planning to install a mobile dining facility on its main campus in the fall to accommodate students. Argenta Hall, which suffered extensive damage on multiple floors in the explosion, was a main dining area.

Negotiations on UNR's contract with Eldorado have yet to be finalized.

University officials say Argenta Hall may reopen in the fall of 2021, and nearby Nye Hall, which was also damaged, may reopen in fall of 2020.

As a note of disclosure, the license to KUNR is owned by the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education.