EPA could leave UNLV campus before lease expires in 2020

The Environmental Protection Agency’s time on UNLV’s campus is scheduled to end in September 2020 after its five-year lease expires.

But if the agency relocates sooner on suggestion of the federal government, it would be an “unfortunate loss” to UNLV, according to Gerry Bomotti, senior vice president for finance and business.

“We have welcomed our partnership with them,” Bomotti said. “We’ve felt it’s been a positive relationship.”

The EPA has occupied five buildings on UNLV’s campus since 1966, completing research, providing the university with adjunct faculty members and giving graduate assistants opportunity to do research. Bomotti added that having a presence on campus has likely benefited professors who have sought out grant opportunities with the EPA.

Space on campus has tightened over the past 50 years, Bomotti said, and the university needs the land for future growth. He said a master plan includes tearing down the buildings in the next 10 years.

When the EPA complex was first built, the facilities were on the edge of campus, with no buildings around it. Development in that area since then included the main library, which is directly across from the complex.

Bomotti said the university would have liked to see the EPA redevelop and occupy space at the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, which is managed by UNLV Research Foundation.

Bomotti said Reid secured nearly $8 million in federal funding for the EPA to develop plans for long-term facility needs.

“To my knowledge, they hadn’t finished any plans,” he said. “We felt that the research park was a good option for them to consider as a location.”

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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