By Jacob Solis
In 2014, the University of Nevada, Reno, saw nearly 20,000 students enter its campus — the most ever. However, not to be caught unprepared, UNR was (and still is) busy enacting the Campus Master Plan: 116 pages of full-color plans for the future. Thus, to prepare for such an influx of students, UNR has been under a state of near-constant construction for the past two years. From a fitness center to a student achievement center, UNR has been busy repairing and updating an aging campus. While attempts to tear down the historic Lincoln and Manzanita Halls have been thwarted, the Getchell Library and metered parking in front of the Joe
Crowley Student Union have fallen to the inexorable march of progress.
Below is a short summary of that march.
Just one week before roughly 100 students were set to move into the historic Manzanita Hall, UNR was forced to shut the dormitory down due to concerns over the aging building’s ability to withstand an earthquake, according to reports from the Reno Gazette-Journal. While Manzanita is being retrofitted, the students assigned to the hall have been moved to the empty White Pine Hall.
Prior to the move, White Pine itself had been slated for destruction and replacement by a larger dorm by the fall of 2017. At a cost of $59 million, the new dorm will house over 400 students in a math-and science-focused environment.
In more positive construction-related news, the new wellness-themed Peavine Hall has finally opened, already housing some 600 students. These students are primarily freshmen and are the first students to live in a new dorm since the Living Learning Community opened in 2012.
It should also be noted that Peavine contains chairs with built-in outlets, per reports from the Reno Gazette-Journal.
THE PENNINGTON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT CENTER
The 78,000-square-foot Pennington Student Achievement Center, which began construction last summer, has been continuing on-schedule and should be complete early next year.
According to Pennington’s page on the UNR website, the facility will house “the Writing Center, Math Center, Tutoring Center, Career Services, Advising Center, Student Veterans Affairs, Disabilities Resource Center, Counseling Services, Trio & McNair Scholars, and Student Faith Based Groups.”
With a price tag of $44 million, Pennington will consolidate the disparate elements mentioned above for the convenience of students.
E. L. WIEGAND FITNESS CENTER
On June 1, construction began on the sprawling E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center. An upgrade to the existing Lombardi Recreation Center, Wiegand will feature four floors of space for all facets of fitness.
According to renderings released by UNR, first-floor space has been allocated to strength and functional training areas with additional strength and cardio spaces sharing the third floor alongside a gymnasium. Several multipurpose rooms pepper the facility, and the whole building is crowned by a full-length track on the fourth and final floor.
Unfortunately, Wiegand is being built upon what used to be 203 metered parking spaces in front of the Joe. Only 85 new parking spaces are being incorporated within the new fitness center, leaving a net loss of 118 spaces.
To counter this, UNR is directing students to park using the hourly parking spaces atop the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex, the daily spaces on the top floor of the West Stadium Parking Complex or the newly-built East Stadium Green Lot. The latter, which replaces the unused tennis courts east of Mackay Stadium, includes 195 spaces at the cost of a Green 1 Zone Permit.
Jacob Solis can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.