The University of Nevada, Reno announced today that it has no plans to demolish historic homes in the so-called gateway district south of campus.
UNR was criticized at a recent City Council meeting for allegedly not collaborating with the city’s Historic Resources Commission (HRC) in drafting its master plan, which places new university buildings in the area of historic homes.
Today, however, Heidi Gansert, UNR’s executive director of external relations, said demolishing the homes is off the table.
“We are not looking to demolish those buildings,” she said. “We’re working to try to find alternatives, and … that’s reusing them or reusing portions of them or moving them, so we’re looking at alternatives.”
Preservationists welcomed the news.
“We’re hoping this is a continued dialogue,” said Alicia Barber, chair of the HRC.
Barber said that they all looking to exhaust all possibilities and said the HRC recently hired a architectural historian to survey the properties on Center Street between 8th and 9th streets.
Gansert said that UNR’s master plan was developed over a year, including public meetings, and was approved by the Board of Regents December 4, 2014.
“We feel like we’ve had an open and collaborative process,” she said, and added that there is no set time frame for any development.
“Our time frame to do something in that area is not imminent,” she said. “So we think it would take us three years to break ground on the first building.”
The Historic Resources Commission is holding a meeting April 7, 2016 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive.
UNR will be at the meeting, Gansert said. “We’re committing to work with them as we plan.”