Art and Design junior Lauren Peterson said she visited the site of the Frieze Building on a Sunday afternoon last month.
The half-demolished building and surrounding worksite were vacant of construction workers and security personnel, Peterson said.
The only witnesses she said she noticed as she climbed a two-story pile of bricks to break into the structure were a few amused pedestrians.
Several students said they have broken into the hazard-ridden demolition site, which is only secured by a fence after hours.
Frieze demolition worker Randy Winters said people unfamiliar with the site’s layout could seriously hurt themselves, especially at night.
“If a person falls into one of the big holes it could be a 15-to-20-feet drop,” he said.
Workers often wear a special insert in their boots to protect against nails and other hazards that trespassers might not anticipate, said Tim Muray, a local construction worker.
“It’s lots of tetanus shot stuff,” Muray said.
He said at least once during the duration of a project a worker is sent to the hospital to get stitches.
An Art and Design junior, wishing to remain anonymous to avoid consequences for trespassing, said she broke into the demolition site to take photographs for a class project.
She said she had only intended to take pictures from behind the site’s fence, but that she and a friend decided to enter the building because no one was working at the site.
The student said she entered the building by climbing a large pile of rubble, and that when she went to climb down she lost footing, slid down the mound and cut her wrist.
Director of Public Safety Diane Brown said security on campus construction sites is the responsibility of the construction company.
A contractor can hire a private security guard for a site, but DPS is only involved if criminal activity is reported, she said.
One case of trespassing at the site was reported to DPS in April and the trespassers were gone when officers arrived, Brown said.
Brown said there isn’t need for increased security at the site – the precautions in place are standard for campus construction projects.
Trespassing students said they were drawn to the deteriorated Frieze because of the building’s reputation as a notoriously uncomfortable campus landmark.
“I had never been inside before,” Peterson said. “It was my last chance to explore it.”
The site is marked to warn away trespassers, Frieze demolition worker Tim Culp said.
But aware of late-night visitors to the site, Culp said workers take care to secure tools and machinery, and to not leave anything hanging that could fall.
“People get a few drinks in them and they think they’re invincible,” he said.