Gov. Steve Sisolak visited University of Nevada, Reno campus and toured the damaged Argenta Hall on Wednesday, July 10. Sisolak was accompanied by officials from the University including President Marc Johnson and Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman, the Nevada System of Higher Education including Regent Jason Geddes, as well as State Fire Marshal Bart Chambers and University Police Services Chief Todd Renwick.
Sisolak, wearing a hard-hat and safety vest, was shown the front of the building and the lobby/dining area. He was then shown the second floor where extensive damage was also evident. In a press conference Tuesday, July 9, Chambers said there were two explosions, a smaller one which occurred in one of Argenta Hall's boilers, severing a gas line, which led to a second, larger explosion.
During Wednesday's tour, Renwick said that despite the blast, which also damaged Nye Hall, Argenta has been deemed structurally sound by structural engineers from the Nevada Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. Argenta and Nye Hall will be offline for the foreseeable future. Neither building will be in operation when students move onto campus for the fall semester in mid-August.
Sisolak and his office have been in regular contact with the University since the explosion occurred at approximately 1 p.m. Friday, July 5. Sisolak has lent his support and provided the state's resources to help the University in the wake of the explosion, which has included a prompt and thorough investigation of the cause and, beginning July 11, fire and life safety inspections conducted by the State Fire Marshal of all other residence halls at the University as well as at UNLV.
During his tour Wednesday, Sisolak offered his thanks to the first responders who were on scene Friday and the emergency workers who have continued to ensure the safety of the two halls. He also said he would be asking for gift cards from attendees of Thursday night's annual Governor's Dinner in Carson City at the Governor's Mansion, to help students who were displaced or affected by the explosion.