Ponderosa Village marks a milestone for University graduate students

132 apartments offer graduate students quality accommodations on the University of Nevada, Reno campus

8/29/2014 - By: Nicole Shearer
The University of Nevada, Reno celebrated the official opening of Ponderosa Village with private partner, Balfour Beatty. Pictured in the photo are (from left to right) Bob Shepko, division president, Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions; Shannon Ellis, University vice president of Student Services; Marc Johnson, University president and Rick Trachok, vice chairman for the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.

The opening of Ponderosa Village marks a new beginning for the many graduate students and their families who now call it home. Located on the east side of campus on Evans Avenue, the former site of University Village, Ponderosa Village is home to graduate students from each college at the University of Nevada, Reno, including the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Additionally, 25 percent of the complex's occupants are international students. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday, Aug. 28 to signify the official opening and to recognize the new and innovative way the University was able to accomplish the new complex through a public-private partnership, which has never been done before in the area.  Balfour Beatty financed, constructed and owns the approximately $20 million complex. The University is leasing the property to Balfour Beatty for 42 years and University's Residential Life, Housing and Food Services manages the complex. At the end of the lease period, the University will own the complex. Particularly beneficial to the University and its students, under this lease agreement, the University incurs no debt for the project, nor is its bonding capacity affected.

"We asked the administration at the University to help find a housing solution," RJ Boyajian, University Graduate Student Association president, said. "We asked and they did. Ponderosa Village is more than an apartment complex, it is a community providing us graduate students the opportunity to live alongside people we wouldn't normally meet. Chemists are living next to people with a PhD in English and that truly fosters a community of learning."

Ponderosa Village includes 132 one- and two-bedroom units. The new facilities consists of six three-story buildings totaling approximately 133,000 square feet, as well as a separate community center with offices and common space for resident use. Each unit has modern appliances, efficient cooling and heating systems, wireless Internet and washers and dryers. In addition, there is a gated, secure courtyard.  

"When I was a graduate student there was no Internet, we had a mini-fridge with a tiny freezer built in and we would go to the laundromat," University President Marc Johnson said. "All kidding aside, this well-appointed complex offers students an on-campus housing opportunity that offers the tools they need to succeed in today's educational environment. The community fosters social and professional networking, as well as convenient access to the Joe Crowley Student Union, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and the rest of campus."  

Development of the new housing alternative exemplifies the University's commitment to a culture of student success. As the University continues its work toward becoming classified as a Carnegie Research University - Very High, graduate student recruitment will continue to be an important component. Ponderosa Village and the amenities it offers will assist with these recruitment efforts.


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