Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

Currently: 102° — Complete forecast

Casino tower eyed for temporary UNR dorm housing after gas blast

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 — UNR officials are negotiating to house 1,300 students in a tower that is part of a casino resort while two dormitories are closed to repair damage from a July 5 natural gas explosion.

Officials said the talks with Eldorado Resorts call for the student housing department to use all of a newly renovated tower that is separate from the Circus Circus Reno casino.

A statement released Friday said security features would include placing a university police substation in the tower and having officers patrol the building.

Both dormitories 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.

The blast blew out windows and walls but caused only minor injuries to eight people.