ELKO — The Fire Science Academy in Elko County has won a reprieve, at least for now.
The state Board of Regents voted Friday to keep the financially troubled academy owned by the University of Nevada, Reno open for at least two years while the university system tries to sell it to the Nevada National Guard. The hope is to sell the property in Carlin for about $10 million.
“We are very pleased at the decision of the board of regents, and we are looking forward to continuing being a productive member of northeast Nevada,” said Gary Zunino, director of the academy.
UNR President Milt Glick told the regents during the meeting in Las Vegas that the Nevada National Guard is not in favor of being located in Carlin. But Glick said Gov. Jim Gibbons does prefer the Carlin location and he’s the one who would make the decision.
If the sale does not go through within two years, the regents will have the option to shut the facility down. If the sale does go through, the National Guard would not be bound to allow the Academy to co-locate at the facility.
The federal government has already approved funding to build a new National Guard readiness center near the Elko Regional Airport and legislation would likely be required before it could be used to purchase an existing facility.
Having the readiness center in Carlin comes with a lower price tag. It is believed it would cost about $16.6 million: $8 million in state funding and $8.6 million in federal funding.