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University to request Center Street name change


The University of Nevada, Reno has been working for years to build stronger connections between itself and Reno. Now, it plans to make a request to the City of Reno that will support those efforts—renaming a portion of Center Street as University Way.

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents at its June 10-11 meeting approved a request by UNR President Brian Sandoval to begin the application process to rename Center Street, from the Truckee River bridge near First Street north to the University’s Ninth Street entrance, as University Way.

“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,” Sandoval 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.”

Gateway District Rendering: Image: NSHE.

In recent years, UNR has been acquiring land and preparing for expansion south toward Reno’s downtown, with buildings planned for lots on both sides of Center Street. The “Gateway District,” a portion of the university’s master plan, was approved by Reno City Council in 2016.

In a statement, campus officials said approval of the street renaming could help build momentum for the university’s 150th anniversary in 2024.

The idea of renaming Center Street as a nod to the university isn’t a new idea. UNR and the City of Reno considered the idea back in 1920 for the same reasons as now—greater unity. In 1957, the city went forward with renaming the entire length of Center Street, which begins in Midtown at its intersection with Virginia Street, to University Avenue. That change only lasted a few months before the city reverted the name back to Center Street.

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