Reviving an initiative that began more than a century ago, the University of Nevada, Reno hopes that Reno will rename a nine-block stretch of Center Street as “University Way.” The Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) approved the University to move forward in the application process to petition the City of Reno to rename Center Street between the Truckee River Bridge near 1st Street and the University gates at 9th Street.
University leaders say designation of the street as “University Way” will demonstrate the University’s strong connections with Reno, strengthen downtown revitalization efforts and build momentum for the sesquicentennial celebrations in 2024 that will mark the 150th anniversary of the school’s founding.
“The University and the City of Reno are both at an inflection point in terms of how the vitality, growth and prosperity of each are intertwined,” Brian Sandoval, president of the University, said. “Collaboration and partnership between the University and the City have never been greater. The potential renaming provides a powerful testament to how important the University’s position as the doorstep to downtown Reno truly is.”
This isn’t the first time the idea has gained traction. In 1920, the Reno Mayor and City Council approved renaming the stretch of Center Street between the University and the railroad tracks at Commercial Row as “University Avenue.” Back then, too, the University and the city wanted to demonstrate their close connections.
The initiative got new life in 1957, when the city renamed the entire length of Center Street from its intersection with Virginia Street north to the University as “University Avenue.” But the city reversed course a few months later and changed the name back to Center Street.