Last summer, two dorms on the University of Nevada, Reno campus were rocked by a boiler explosion.
While the dorms were rebuilt, students were housed in the non-gaming tower of the Circus-Circus casino downtown.
But not this fall. UNR just announced that students will be staying at two off-campus housing developments instead of the casino tower next year.
Shannon Ellis is UNR’s Vice President for Student Services. She told KNPR's State of Nevada that one of the halls damaged by the explosion, Nye Hall, was repaired and students will be housed there this fall.
“We did not need the 1,300 spaces that we were leasing in the Wolf Pack Tower," she said, "We were looking for smaller units, and lucky for us, two were being built.”
The new buildings will be finished this summer. They're located across the street from campus and just a block south.
“They have individual bedrooms and each bedroom has its own bath. And then they have a common suite area,” Ellis said.
She said the cost of the units will be the same as on-campus dorm prices. The contract for the new housing will be paid in part by the university's insurance company.
When students moved to the Circus Circus property, it made national headlines. People were surprised to see college students at a hotel tower connected to a casino.
Ellis said parents were concerned at first but when she and others talked to them and the parents saw how separate Wolf Pack Tower was from the rest of the casinos they were reassured.
As far as the rest of the country, Ellis saw the story as a way to show people what casinos in Nevada are really like.
“It was a great opportunity to share with people, especially those not from Nevada, that gaming is taking on many forms in this state that it is about places to stay, to enjoy the community, the beauty of the outdoors," she said, "So, a casino has a very broad definition and everybody saw that the minute they arrived at Wolf Pack Tower.”
The second damaged residency hall, Argenta Hall, will be repaired in 2021.
Shannon Ellis, Vice President, Student Services at UNR
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