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October 19, 2019

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UNR dorms rocked by gas blast closed for 1 to 2 years

UNR Dorm Explosion

Scott Sonner / AP

Structural engineers with experience responding to earthquakes and natural disasters are helping experts at UNR with efforts to rebuild this dormitory, Thursday, July 11, 2019, where a natural gas explosion blew out walls and windows last week.

RENO — Both of the dormitories damaged in a natural gas explosion at UNR will remain closed for at least a year and the most severely damaged one isn't expected to reopen until at least the fall of 2021.

School officials said Monday they're making progress on plans to find housing for 1,300 students who were scheduled to live in Argenta and Nye halls when the fall semester begins at the end of next month.

A July 5 explosion in a basement boiler room at Argenta Hall led to a much larger gas blast that blew out walls and windows, but caused only minor injuries to eight people.

School officials say they're already developing requests for architectural design and rebuilding of the residence halls. They hope Nye can reopen by fall 2020 and Argenta by fall 2021.