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UPDATE: University of Nevada, Reno reaches deal with hotel-casino to house students

Displaced students learn more about housing options
Posted at 11:23 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 02:44:54-04

UPDATE AUG. 1.: The president of University of Nevada, Reno has announced a one year, $21.7 million lease agreement with Eldorado Resorts, the company that owns the Circus Circus near campus. 1300 students will live in a non-gaming hotel tower there.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Starting college is filled with all kinds of anxiety but more than a thousand students at the University of Nevada, Reno have had the additional stress of worrying about where they will live when classes start in mid-August after an explosion damaged two residence halls back on July 5.

"They were my first and second choice. So, I was kind of freaking out,” said Yhtziriri Michicich who will be a freshman in the fall. “I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Or if I was going to have housing. Or if I was going to have to choose another college. I didn’t know."

A town hall meeting held Wednesday evening in Las Vegas attempted to try and ease some of those concerns.

"We want to make sure we understand what the options are,” said parent Tony Patton. “And how this building is going to be. And how it’s going to be secured and whether they will have the same benefits as a student living closer to campus.”

Amy Carvahlo is a Nevada System of Higher Education Regent.

"Overall I think that parents are concerned about their safety and the security involved with the towers,” Carvahlo said. “And UNR has heard those issues and is addressing them."

The plan is to house 1300 students in a newly renovated, non-gaming stand-alone tower of Circus Circus Reno through a partnership with El Dorado Resorts.

It will be called Wolf Pack Tower and work is being done right now to make sure they are safe and ready for students to live there.

All entrances and exits will have security and a service desk staffed 24-hours by university employees. There will be live-in faculty and master's level student resident directors and they will cost the same as Nye and Argenta halls.

"I feel like this would be a good housing option for me, “said Michicich. “Especially because I have like a little bit more freedom away from the campus."

But there are still some kinks to work out.

"My main concern would be definitely food,” Michicich said. “Because I still need to eat."