University community members meet their newest neighbor

11/13/2007 8:00:00 AM

University neighbors met the newest kid on the block - the Joe Crowley Student Union - on Tuesday, Nov. 6. President Milton Glick played host to an open house for neighbors, the first official event in the new 167,000-square-foot facility.

More than 60 University-area residents attended the evening social in the Great Room, located on the fourth floor of the student union.

Glick encouraged residents to join in and be engaged in campus life. "Our union is your union and we want you to feel welcome," he said.

Gary Aldax, development specialist at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, attended the sneak peak reception and said it was nice hear from President Glick and others about the future vision for the campus, and to know they're open to suggestions and input from the surrounding neighborhoods.

"As an alumnus, it's nice to still feel connected to the University, and I appreciate their effort to reach out and involve the community in the campus," Aldax said.

Neighbors were given the opportunity to visit with and ask questions of representatives of University departments including Parking Services, Student Services, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Athletics, School of the Arts, University Libraries, Facilities, Greek Life, University Real Estate, University Communications, Finance and Administration, and ASUN.

Sally Morgan, director of student conduct, said that she likes the president's neighborhood approach. She learned that parking concerns continue for our neighbors.

"There is additional parking in the (West) stadium lot, but it may need to be advertised much more to our neighbors," Morgan said. "This lot opens up so much more parking for all of us, especially for evening and weekend events."

During a question and answer session, one neighbor asked about rumors that Virginia Street would be converted to two lanes. Glick acknowledged that this has been discussed by transportation officials, and clarified it is not a suggestion put forth by the University. He explained that Virginia Street is administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation; however, plans are underway to eventually transfer it to the City of Reno.

Neighbors suggested that signage between I-80 and the University be updated and improved. It was suggested that digital display signage in that area could announce events or traffic delays. Glick agreed and noted that local responsibility for the street may allow for improved discussions about improved signage.

The event also featured large aerial photographs and maps depicting the campus over the decades, providing for great "back-in-the-day" conversation. Renditions of future University buildings and plans were printed on large posters and available for community view and discussion.

The grand-opening celebration of the Joe Crowley Student Union is Nov. 15 and 16. The public is invited to join students, faculty and staff, and walk through the new student-owned bookstore, the 220-seat theater, the ballroom with views of the Sierra Nevada and one of the largest Starbucks west of the Mississippi.


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