Education
12:52 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Record-breaking enrollment creates more demand for housing at UNR

A sketch of Peavine Hall, which will be open as student housing on the UNR campus for the fall of 2015.
Credit University of Nevada, Reno

Campus has been bustling with thousands of students who started their classes Monday at the University of Nevada, Reno. This school year, more than 19,000 students are enrolled, setting a new record, and Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that campus living quarters are pretty tight in order to house 2,600 of those pupils.

Some dorm rooms are being converted from singles to doubles or from doubles to triples in order to meet demand.

UNR's Chuck Clement says the school will need to expand in the upcoming years if it continues to enroll more and more students. Earlier this year, UNR did start building another dormitory called Peavine Hall that will open for next fall semester.

"Once Peavine Hall is open," Clement says, "we are already talking about the next step. We're looking at possibly opening another residence hall in 2017 and, if these trends continue, we're going to be looking at yet a third hall, probably in about 2019."

A few months ago, Clement was worried that UNR wouldn't be able to accommodate every student who requested a dorm room, so he created a waiting list, which seems to have eliminated any major housing issues by encouraging enough students to make other plans.

But the school will be faced with this same challenge next year because even though Peavine Hall will provide 400 beds, two other dormitories housing just under 200 students will be closing at that time. One of them is Lincoln Hall, which opened back in 1896.

"Obviously, it's a very old building," Clement explains. "It's got single-pane windows, it has wiring that isn't as effective or efficient--it isn't set up for wireless. A new residence hall that we would be constructing would have all the latest technology."

Clement says Lincoln Hall consumes a large footprint but only 80 students actually live there. Both it and Manzanita Hall also fail to meet modern construction standards for earthquake safety. Because they're listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the buildings have escaped demolition and will be re-purposed after this year.