File Photo President Marc Johnson delivers the State of the University address on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Johnson announced at the NSHE Board of Regents meeting on July 19 that UNR is entering negotiations with Circus Circus Reno for displaced students.

The University of Nevada, Reno, has begun to negotiate with Eldorado Resorts to secure 1,300 beds for displaced students in Circus Circus Reno as of Friday, July 19. The solution comes on the heels of two explosions on Friday, July 5 damaging Argenta and Nye halls.

A non-gaming tower in the hotel will be designated for students and named Wolf Pack Tower. University Police Services will establish a substation in Wolf Pack Tower and will patrol at all times. Additionally, 24 hour surveillance will be provided by Circus Circus. Residents with a room key will have access to rooms and student lounge areas. The tower will only be occupied by university students.

The decision comes after the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents voted unanimously at a special board meeting on Friday, July 19, to authorize Wolf Pack Tower as the proposed housing for  displaced students during 2019 – 2020 and 2020 – 2021 academic school years.

While the move to Circus Circus is the proposed solution, there is no current deal or contract set in place between the university and Eldorado Resorts as of July 19. 

“We feel it is vitally important that the 1,300 students, who will not be living in Argenta and Nye halls this fall, still have a seamlessly integrated University housing experience, one that will include all of the support infrastructure we know is vital for first-year students’ success and retention,” Marc Johnson, President of the university, said at the NSHE board meeting.

Johnson said students living in the interim hall will receive an academic and community environment to promote student success.

Programs, activities and amenities that aid in the student experience and transition will be available at the proposed tower. Student staff, including live-in academic mentors, will offer tutoring hours and resident assistance on each floor. Full-time live-in staff, masters-level faculty and graduate students, will assist as resident directors.

For students bringing a vehicle to campus, free parking will be available in the parking garage attached to and designated for Wolf Pack Tower.

Shuttle services will also be expanded the five blocks from campus to the tower. 

“We have looked at other properties throughout the Reno-Sparks area, but none can replicate what this West tower can provide,” President Johnson said. “1,300 beds to house all of the displaced students, complete university control of the entire building, and close proximity to campus.”

The Overlook Cafe in the Jot Travis building was transitioned into an all-you-can-eat dining facility for the reminder of the summer session. The Overlook will continue to be used in this way for the fall 2019 semester.

Additionally, the university will bring in a prefabricated kitchen dining area to be located by Great Basin Hall in early August to create more capacity. By November, the interim dining facility will be moved to a semi-permanent facility near Thompson Hall and Jot Travis building.

It is estimated Nye Hall will be back open for the fall 2020 semester. Argenta Hall is estimated to be open in the fall of 2021.

Kennady Pine can be reached at oali@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.