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Circus Circus tower could house UNR students until dorms fixed

Updated July 19, 2019 - 10:59 pm

University of Nevada, Reno, students displaced by the explosion that damaged two campus residence halls could find themselves living in a tower of the Circus Circus casino in Reno next fall under a tentative plan unveiled Friday.

The university has entered talks with Eldorado Resorts to see if a deal can be reached to place the 1,300 students who were slated to live at Nye or Argenta halls on the UNR campus in the hotel-casino’s newly renovated Reno Sky Tower.

The proposal is tentative, UNR President Marc A. Johnson told the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents shortly before it approved a request to enter a short- or long-term partnership to provide food and housing for the affected students.

Under the potential agreement with Eldorado, the nongaming tower, located approximately half a mile from campus, would be temporarily renamed Wolf Pack Tower and converted to offer traditional residence hall amenities like study spaces and laundry facilities.

Students would have separate, keycard-enabled entrances, and the building would be staffed by university employees and police.

To transport students to campus and back, the university shuttle would add a stop at the tower. Students with cars would have free parking in a designated garage.

The tower also would take on the civic engagement theme of Argenta Hall, offering service-learning and volunteer opportunities.

UNR also outlined plans for new dining facilities; the explosion damaged the main campus dining hall.

As a temporary measure, the university will use prefabricated kitchen and dining modules in the plaza east of Great Basin Hall beginning Aug. 12.

But in November, the university will open a semi-permanent structure made of all-weather fabric supported by aluminum arches for modular kitchens, serving spaces and restrooms.

Known as a Sprung structure, the building is being purchased from Emory University, where it served as a temporary dining facility for two years.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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