Fate of UNR’s fire academy remains in limbo
ELKO, Nev. (AP) – Sharing University of Nevada, Reno’s Fire Science Academy with the National Guard is the only viable solution to keeping the academy open, said former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan.
Bryan is chairman of a task force created last year to look for ways to keep the training site in northeast Nevada operating.
UNR President Milton Glick will update the Board of Regents on the co-location proposal this week, he said.
Co-location requires approval by regents, as well as the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Approval also would be needed by the state Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee. The committee last year set aside $48 million for a Nevada Guard readiness center but didn’t specify a location.
The proposal the task force is pushing calls for the National Guard to pay the university system $10 million in state and federal money for the fire academy site.
The academy, in turn, would lease a portion of the site back for fire training.
“Everybody agrees this is the best hope,” Bryan told the Elko Daily Free Press on Tuesday. “This would be a win-win for everyone.”
The state would own the land, but details would still have to be worked out, Bryan said. The Board of Regents would decide whether to apply the $10 million to the UNR debt load.
“The Guard will not need all the facilities,” Bryan said of the 426-acre site that includes classroom buildings, dormitories, firefighting props and rescue props. “The Guard would use some existing facilities and build one new structure. It’s appealing to the Guard.”