By Lauren Huneycutt

Newly weds Bill and Alyson Grussenmeyer said they could not be more excited to move into Ponderosa Village, the new housing development on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, which will be exclusively for graduate students, medical students, faculty and their families.

“This project has been a long time coming,” said Jerome Maese, director of Residential Life. “It has been over 20 years that my boss has been working to make something like this happen.”

The Grussenmeyers, who met in the disabilities office of Sacramento State University while Bill was completing his masters and Alyson was working there, are signed up and ready to move into the development as soon as construction concludes on July 31st. As a blind computer science student seeking his Ph.D., Bill Grussenmeyer is a prime example of how effective this housing could prove to be.

“Since it’s on campus, it will be easy for me to walk to my classes and lab,” Bill Grussenmeyer said. “That’s pretty much all I do; study and go to class.”

The Ponderosa Village will have three floors of apartments and 132 units. Nearly one third of the units will be one bedroom, one bathroom, and the rest will be two bedroom, two bathroom. The complex has cost close to $20 million to build and was privately funded, mainly through an agreement between the university and the company building it, Balfour Beatty PLC.

“The rent varies between the upper $500 to $1100,” Maese said. “We use a roommate matching system for those students who wish to be paired up and split the rent.”

All appliances will be included in the apartments and leasing furniture and electronics will be an option for renters who choose not to bring or buy their own. Each unit has a large living room window, and some third floor units will offer a view down onto the baseball field.

The courtyard between apartment buildings will be zeroscaped in an effort to conserve water. Decomposed granite, concrete and rock will make up the design and benches and Wi-Fi will span the area as well, so tenants such as Bill Grussenmeyer, who uses his computer frequently, can do projects and study outside.

There will be a community center in the complex for people to reserve and plan birthdays, barbecues or get-togethers. The apartments will be in a gated community with workers and 24-hour emergency maintenance services. The entire complex is pet friendly.

“We think living on campus is the ultimate amenity,” Maese said. “You’ve got Lombardi Recreation Center, the Knowledge Center, the student union with restaurants and food services and basically a back seat to sporting events. The idea was, ‘live here and everything is right here.’”

Parking will be taken care of through parking services and is available near the apartments. The overflow will park in the lot next to the intramural fields. The developers are currently working on a shuttle bus turnaround so the campus shuttle can make a stop in the development.

“When you’re an academic, you need a conducive environment and to make sure you’re around people who support what you are doing,” Maese said. “So that’s probably the best amenity we offer, great neighbors.”

The two bedroom apartments offer 985 square feet of living space, and the one bedrooms offer 685 square feet. All apartments will be ready for tenants on August 1.

“We’re really excited to get to move in,” Alyson Grussenmeyer said.

She and her husband will be living in a first floor one-bedroom apartment.

Lauren Huneycutt can be reached at