Update regarding July 5 Argenta Hall explosion

State Fire Marshal inspects all residence halls, finding them in safe condition; Nye and Argenta Halls structurally sound

The campus at sunrise as viewed from the top of Lawlor Events Center looking south.

The campus at sunrise as viewed from the top of Lawlor Events Center looking south.

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. Here are some of the most recent developments:

  • INSPECTIONS: The State Fire Marshal completed an inspection of the residence halls late last week. This inspection included graduate student housing in Ponderosa Village. All were found to be in safe condition. The University appreciates the State Fire Marshall inspecting all of our residence halls to ensure they are safe places for its students to live. In addition to the State Fire Marshal’s inspection, the boilers in the University’s residence halls have always been inspected on a regular basis by third-party inspectors.
  • PROPERTY REUNIFICATION: 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.
  • BUILDING REHABILITATION: With the news that both Argenta and Nye are structurally sound, the University’s plan moving forward is to rehabilitate and reopen both buildings ASAP. It has moved into a new phase that includes developing requests for architectural design and construction planning, followed by the construction/rehabilitation projects themselves. The hope is that Nye can return to use by Fall 2020, with Argenta back online by Fall 2021.
  • FALL HOUSING: 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 Halls. University administration is 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 is essential for these students’ success. Rates for these interim accommodations will remain consistent with the 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 OPEN: 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.
  • ARTEMESIA BUILDING: The staff of Human Resources, which had been working remotely, has returned to the Artemesia Building after the structure was deemed safe by inspectors.
  • NEWS & UPDATES: You can check Nevada Today to find 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 found on their website.
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