NSights Blog

Dear Colleague: Argenta Hall Progress

In the time since the event, the University has made significant progress in helping students affected and planning for the longer-term.

To the campus community:

Since last week, when the State Fire Marshal announced preliminary findings regarding the cause of the explosion that damaged Argenta and Nye Halls on July 5, the University has made significant progress in several areas regarding the students affected, making arrangements for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester and planning for the longer-term. Before I share some recent developments, please continue to take care of yourselves and those around you. The emotional and psychological impacts of the Argenta explosion are real. We want to help if you feel you or someone you know needs help. Counseling Services, which has been working with students and staff who were either injured or displaced by the blast, can be reached at 775-784-4648. The University owes a debt of gratitude to the professionals in University Police Services, Student Services and others across the campus for the long hours they have put in and the dedication to the well-being of others they have all demonstrated since July 5.

Here are some of the most recent developments:

  • The State Fire Marshal completed an inspection of our residence halls late last week. This inspection included graduate student housing in Ponderosa Village. All were found to be in safe condition. We appreciate the State Fire Marshall inspecting all of our residence halls to ensure they are safe places for our students to live. In addition to the State Fire Marshal’s inspection, we have always had boilers in our residence halls inspected on a regular basis by third-party inspectors.
  • The reunification of students with their property following the explosion in Argenta has been ongoing. This effort should be completed by the middle of this week. If students or parents have any questions, call 775-784-1113 or 775-682-8241 or email housing@unr.edu.
  • With the news that both Argenta and Nye are structurally sound, our plan moving forward is to rehabilitate and reopen both buildings ASAP. We’ve moved into a new phase that includes developing requests for architectural design and construction planning, followed by the construction/rehabilitation projects themselves. We are hopeful that Nye can return to use by Fall 2020, with Argenta back online by Fall 2021.
  • Student Services continues to work diligently on formalizing the plan for housing options for the 1,300 beds that will not be available because of the shutdown of Argenta and Nye. We are confident that this plan will provide students a safe and first-class opportunity to have a residence life experience, complete with a quality support infrastructure, which we strongly feel is essential for these students’ success. Rates for these interim accommodations will remain consistent with our currently published rates. Student Services, which has already shifted dining to the Overlook for the remainder of summer school in the wake of the damage to the dining facility at Argenta, is also finalizing its fall dining plan, including locations where campus dining will be held. The campus dining plan for the fall will be announced as soon as possible.
  • Virginia Street has been reopened to traffic. Argenta Hall, which along with Nye Hall was determined to be structurally sound by FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Nevada Task Force 1 team of structural engineers, is in the process of having exposed areas wrapped in protective material to ensure the safety of traffic and passers-by on Virginia Street.
  • The staff of Human Resources, which had been working remotely, has returned to the Artemesia Building after the structure was deemed safe by inspectors.

The University will continue to share regular news and updates with the campus community.

You can check Nevada Today for the most recent news and updates, as well as the University’s FAQ’s regarding the Argenta explosion.

The latest update from Residential, Life, Housing and Food Service can be seen on their website.


Marc Johnson


University President Marc Johnson