The University of Nevada, Reno announced information to be used going forward after an explosion took place at Argenta Hall on Friday, July 5, and displaced 200 students. The cause of the explosion is under investigation, but is believed to be a mechanical failure.
The university will not be using Argenta for the Fall 2019 semester, according to an FAQ posted Sunday. Nye Hall is still under examination. Due to the explosion, housing assignments have been delayed.
Sierra Street has since reopened, but Virginia Street is still closed as of Monday evening. Artemisia Way and Artemisia Building have been closed until further notice. All parking garages are open, including Sierra Street Parking Complex.
Students staying in Argenta Hall for the summer session were moved to Peavine Hall on Friday, July 5.
Alexander Dilling, a student displaced by the explosion, said the building’s structural state has kept him from retrieving his belongings.
“There are a number of students who have yet to receive anything from their rooms,” Dilling told the Nevada Sagebrush.
The university has been actively trying to reunite students with some of their belongings in Argenta. Structural engineers have been on-site since Saturday, July 6. Dilling said firefighters have students fill out what essential items they need from their rooms.
Liz Vasquez, a student affected by the explosions, expressed how she and other students have yet to receive their personal items.
“It just sucks that we don’t have any of our clothes because that’s stuff we have to go get ourselves,” Vasquez told The Nevada Sagebrush. “I had to go to Walmart [on July 5] because I didn’t have clean clothes. [Residential Life] did give us shirts though. But don’t get me wrong, ResLife is literally working so hard to make sure we have things we need.”
Cody Begg, Chartwell’s Resident District Manager, said in an email to students announcing dining services for summer residents are now being held in the Overlook Cafe. The university converted the Overlook to an All-You-Can-Eat dining facility for meal plan holders, upcoming summer groups and conferences. Catering and the Joe Crowley Student Union will be used for the remainder of freshman orientation.
Freshman orientation is scheduled for the duration of the summer, with several overnight sessions. Overnight session participants will stay in the Nevada Living Learning Community as planned. Parents and other guests will stay in Sierra Hall. Both the Nevada LLC and Sierra Hall were unaffected during the explosion.
The university began the process of filing an emergency declaration on Friday, July 5. A joint request from the City of Reno and Washoe County will be submitted to the Governor’s Office. If this situation meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency criteria, Governor Steve Sisolak can consider submitting the request to FEMA for additional emergency funding.
“My office is aware of the situation at @unevadareno and have offered support on the ground,” Gov. Sisolak said in a Tweet. “We will continue to closely monitor all updates. For those on or near campus, please stay clear of areas where first responders are working on the scene.”
The explosions left eight individuals with minor injuries. Six were treated on scene, and two were sent to a local hospital. All victims were treated and released.
Those affected by the events are advised to seek help at the Counseling Center located on the fourth floor of the Pennington Student Achievement Center. Counseling services can be reached at 775-784-4648. Faculty from the Education, Psychology and Social Work departments will be stepping in to serve students.