Many who use the UNLV Student Recreation & Wellness Center have no clue that the 2-year-old building falls below earthquake safety standards.
When confronted with the fact, students’ reactions ranged from indifference to fear that their own fees will go up to cover the cost of bringing the facility up to code.
Design error necessitates the retrofit, not bad workmanship, according to university leaders.
For a brief time in November, the university had employees stand at the center’s entrances to pass out fliers explaining the code violation. But now, a visitor has to hunt to find the flier, which is posted on an announcements kiosk in the building’s lobby.
Sophomore Nathan Sigal , toting a skateboard as he walked in, didn’t notice the notice until a Review-Journal reporter pointed it out to him.
Sigal then read it aloud, giving a thumb’s up when he got to the part that says, "Engineering consultants do not believe there is a safety concern for occupants and patrons" who use the building before it is strengthened to meet code.
"It’s not something they’re proud of, but they’re posting it," said Sigal, a pre-nuclear medicine student, who uses the site’s pool and weight room.
"It kind of sucks," senior Brittany Flowers concluded, after the reporter showed her the notice.
"I think it’s surprising, because the building is so new," added Flowers, a communications major, who was eating on the patio outside the building’s cafe.
Her main question is whether the university will hike student fees to pay for the seismic repairs, which have not yet been designed or priced.
Sitting with Flowers was Chris Butler, a sophomore criminal-justice major.
"It’s probably going to have to be closed down" for the retrofit, Butler complained. He found it hard to believe that no one noticed the design error before the building was finished.
Contact reporter Joan Whitely at jwhitely@reviewjournal. com or 702-383-0268.