During its Nov. 13 meeting, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents heard from University of Nevada, Reno, President Brian Sandoval who came before regents asking for approval to extend a lease agreement with two off-campus housing facilities at which students have stayed while the university is working on repairs to Argenta Hall.
Argenta Hall was damaged by a massive boiler explosion on July 5, 2019. The dormitory was expected to be completed by the summer of 2021. As a result of setbacks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, repairs being undertaken by Clark/Sullivan Construction are now expected to take until 2022.
Sandoval explained to regents that UNR’s insurance company is prepared to cover the costs of housing students at the Uncommon and Canyon Flats housing complexes until repairs are completed. UNR leased these properties at a combined rate of $10.1 million for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Argenta Hall repairs are expected to cost about $42 million, only a fraction of the university’s maximum benefit amount of $100 million.
Repairs to Argenta Hall are expected to resume in mid-January.
Regent Lisa Levine asked Sandoval if there were guarantees that students would not be evicted from Canyon Flats or Uncommon prior to completion of the repairs. Sandoval said they would not.
This Is Reno reached out to UNR to confirm that sending students home for the semester as the university transitions to full-distance learning would not affect insurance coverage of the leasing costs.
According to UNR Vice President of Student Services, Shannon Ellis, “Insurance covered Wolf Pack Tower (Eldorado Resorts) when we vacated in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been amazing through all of this and understand when things are beyond our control. There is no risk of insurance not covering things.”