Just to cheer you up: "nei pressi" means "in the vicinity". I am certain it will not appear in Duolingo.
If "presso" means "near " how does "around (intorno)" also mean "presso" in this question?
No, "intorno" really is (making) a circle, not "in the neighbourhood" C'è un giardino intorno alla casa" there is a garden around the house.
I picked the following up from Babylon translator for 'presso': prep. beside, by, next; at, in adv. nearby, near, close by; approximately, about adj. close, adjacent
on word reference it said also at or in, how confusing! :) but from what you're saying it sounds more like at, but at can't be used for rooms to mean in and out, like at university
I spoke to my italian mother in law, she said that presso is never used to talk about spaces in the house, so the sentence is strange, it's usually used to talk about external places in the city for example