Construction can be an annoyance. It clogs quick routes to class, disturbs studying with the crashes and clangs of heavy equipment and it always seems to be happening somewhere on campus. However, with each new project taken on and completed, the University of Nevada, Reno, becomes a more up-to-date, ADA friendly, state-of-the-art campus.

With construction sites appearing around almost every corner, it is hard to keep track of all the changes and improvements that are being made.

This is News You Can Use with a guide to Campus Construction.

New Arts Building

Construction on a brand-new University Arts Building just began in May. Increasing the role and footprint of the arts on campus and in the community, the new 42,500 square-foot building will connect to the existing Church Fine Arts building through a skywalk. It will house a new recital hall, art museum, fabrication lab, multiple rehearsal rooms and teaching studios. Through donor grants and pledges, $35.5 million was raised and the building is expected to be finished in late summer 2018.

“By promoting and cultivating the university’s arts programs in this manner, the university will strengthen its leadership role in arts education in northern Nevada and continue to showcase top student and professional performances and exhibits in music, theatre, dance, and art,” the arts program wrote in a construction update.

Great Basin Hall

The university is continuing to add more housing to accommodate the growing number of students coming to UNR. Construction started on Great Basin Hall in fall 2016 and is expected to be finished in the summer of 2018. Funding for the new dormitory—which is estimated to cost about $62.7 million—came from residence hall fees and bonds. The new building will be environmentally sensitive, meeting the LEED Gold equivalency.

The hall will have a STEM theme — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — to promote academic success within these disciplines. The building will house over 400 students, 90 percent freshmen and 10 percent upperclassmen, in 114,151 square feet.

Mackay Stadium ADA Improvements

Improvements being made to the historic Mackay Stadium began in the summer of 2017. Mackay Stadium, where it stands today, was completed in 1967 with a seating capacity of 7,500. Today, with several renovations completed, the stadium has a capacity of 25,658.

The new improvements will bring additional accessible seating and an accessible restroom on the concourse level on the east side. Renovations are also being made to existing structures, bringing the total cost to around $700,000. Work is currently being finished on the stadium in anticipation of the busy football season.

Proposed Business Building

A new business building is currently in design and will be the first development in the Gateway District. The University Gateway District is part of the University’s Master Plan and aims to be a vibrant retail and academic oriented neighborhood center.

“As the university’s physical campus extends out into the community, it’s a natural fit for the College of Business to occupy a building that will better allow university students and resources to connect with and welcome northern Nevada businesses,” Greg Mosier, dean of the university’s College of Business said.

The contractor and construction start date for this proposed 94,200 square-foot building has yet to be determined. It is estimated the project will cost $65 million.

William N. Pennington Engineering Building

A new engineering building is in the works to join the well-established complex of engineering buildings already on campus. UNR’s College of Engineering has seen enrollment double in the last 10 years, and as the university hires more professors to meet demands, the proposed new building has received community-wide support.

Governor Brian Sandoval provided for the building in the Biennial Budget released earlier this year. There has also been $23 million donated by private philanthropy for the project. The estimated cost for the new building is $87.8 million. Construction is predicted to start in fall of 2018, and completed in summer 2020.

The proposed building will house more than 40 state-of-the-art research laboratories, teaching and office spaces, a 200-seat classroom, a large-scale computer lab, food services and the Dean of the College of Engineering’s office.

“We still have work ahead of us to bring the building to fruition, but it is absolutely time to expand the space available for our faculty, students and community partners to learn, to conduct research and to innovate,” said Manos Maragakis, the dean of the College of Engineering, in an interview with Nevada Silver & Blue Magazine.

Raising Canes

Food options are an important part of campus culture, and now the ever-popular fast-food chicken restaurant opened a new location across Virginia Street from the university.

The second location recently opened its doors Thursday, Sept. 7, and had told KTVN they had plans to donate 100 percent of the profits from the grand opening day to the Washoe County Family Engagement Center.

This popular chicken joint has been a strong supporter of the university and Nevada Athletics, and the new location has been brimming with students since opening their doors.

University Studies Abroad Consortium’s (USAC) Annex

UNR completed construction on a new USAC annex this summer across from the Virginia Street Gym. The new annex celebrating its opening on Aug. 31. USAC’s headquarters and student advising center will remain across the street in the Virginia Street Gym.

Towers at Pink Hills

A new mixed-use retail and student housing development is currently under construction across Virginia Street from the university and is expected to be complete this year.

The Towers at Pink Hill include three levels of student housing with restaurants and a banking development on the first floor.

There will be a variety of options for bedrooms, which come furnished with many more amenities included in the cost. Pricing and more information about the units can be found on the website or by emailing

The University of Nevada Reno continues to grow and change with every new semester. UNR has proposed many more projects and buildings. Detailed information about all plans can be found in the University’s Master Plan.

Emily Fisher can be reached at, and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.