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Newsmakers 2016: Campus Growth

From a new home for the Hotel College to student housing, needed parking and some new land, UNLV campus expansion was in the news in 2016.

Campus News  |  Jan 5, 2017  |  By Francis McCabe

Construction continues on Hospitality Hall. (Josh Hawkins/UNLV Photo Services)

UNLV saw significant campus expansion in 2016, including the start of a new student housing community that will ultimately triple available student housing, construction of the new academic home for the Harrah Hotel College, the completion of Gateway Parking complex, and a state-of-the-art new Rebel Baseball Clubhouse.

The university also completed the purchase of a 42-acre parcel adjacent to campus for future growth, moved forward on a development agreement of the 100-plus acre Harry Reid Research & Technology Park with the Gardner Company, and completed a $72.5 million expansion of the nation’s best performing university-based event center – the Thomas & Mack Center. 

Here are a few examples of UNLV's tremendous growth in 2016:

Thomas & Mack Renovation

The modernization of the Thomas & Mack Center wrapped up on schedule and on budget in October, just in time for the final Presidential Debate. The project included mechanical, electrical, and plumbing enhancements along with new seating, concessions, restrooms, and upgraded concourse space to elevate the visitor experience. The modernization included a 35,000-square-foot addition of new meeting and event space with panoramic views of the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

U District Construction

UNLV and partner The Midby Companies officially broke ground in May on The U District, a new student housing community on the north end of campus. The first phase, expected to be complete in 2017, will add more than 750 beds to ease UNLV’s heavy demand for student housing.

UNLV Purchases 42-Acre Parcel

In January, UNLV completed the purchase of 42 acres near Tropicana Avenue and Koval Lane, which will help the land-locked campus meet long-term strategic goals. Options for the land include space for graduate and professional studies, mixed use retail, additional housing and/or athletic facilities. It will also help UNLV expand key academic and research space within the core of campus.

Harrah Hotel College Construction

In March, a groundbreaking for Harrah Hotel College’s new academic building was held in the center of campus. Hospitality Hall will feature sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and serve as a bridge to the hospitality and gaming industry. With room for classroom, laboratory, and meeting space, the design will encourage interaction and a sense of community among students, faculty, and industry professionals.

Rebel Athletics Growth

UNLV Athletics saw tremendous building growth for its baseball and football teams in 2016. In March, UNLV Athletics celebrated the opening of the Anthony and Lyndy Marnell III Baseball Clubhouse. The $3.75 million facility will enable UNLV Baseball to consistently challenge for championships in the Mountain West and beyond. In September, a record-breaking gift for UNLV Athletics – a $10 million pledge from the Fertitta Family – was made to lead construction of the Fertitta Football Complex.

Marnell Baseball Clubhouse complete

Fertitta Football Complex

Gateway Parking Garage

University Gateway, a new parking and retail structure, broke ground in January across from Greenspun Hall that will give the land-strapped university access to much-needed parking in the busy southeast part of campus. In October, the parking garage opened with 610 new parking spaces. A new headquarters for the university's police department is slated to open when the project is completed in 2017.

Enrollment Growth Continues

Campus expansion wasn’t restricted to brick and mortar in 2016 - campus enrollment grew as well. In the fall, UNLV welcomed a record number of residential students (more than 1,900) between the residence halls and the newly refurbished Legacy LV, the former University Park Apartments. The overall number of new UNLV students was also up slightly, supported in part by yet another record incoming class for the Honors College.