Students at the University of Nevada Reno may be living in a downtown casino for their upcoming school year.
Two July 5 explosions left two student dormitories uninhabitable for the 2019-2020 school year. The explosions injured six students and two firefighters. There were no fatalities.
A technician arrived at the dorms to fix the boiler, which caused the initial, smaller explosion. The first explosion severed a gas line, leading to the second explosion. It is expected to take one year to fix the damages.
The university is in discussion with Eldorado Resorts about the possibility of using the newly remodeled west tower of the Circus Circus Casino to house students, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.
Argenta and Nye Halls, the two buildings affected by the blasts, were expected to house around 1,300 students. For one year, the west tower of Circus Circus would functionally become part of campus.
“As part of the potential agreement, the University will be renaming and branding the interim hall Wolf Pack Tower,” UNR said in a statement.
According to UNR President Marc Johnson, the university will only house students in the tower and only those with key cards will have access to the tower. Certain areas of the hotel will be converted into lounges, study spaces and laundry facilities to make it feel more like a student dorm.
Johnson also mentioned that there would be a shuttle service provided by the school to and from the tower and that University Police Services will open a station at the tower that will be staffed 24 hours a day.
The deal is not yet finalized but with negotiations, this advanced and the UNR fall semester starting August 17, it seems like this will be the likely outcome.