All construction has come to a halt on the new Engineering Complex as of Friday afternoon when students trespassing on the site discovered a dinosaur skeleton.
The three students who found the skeleton were not given any citations by URI police for trespassing or for being under the influence at roughly 4:20 p.m. The students involved did not intend to wander into the construction site according to the police report.
“I don’t even really remember going in,” freshman Sean Baked said. “One moment I was walking and the next I was at the bottom of a hole. If I hadn’t of dropped my wallet and …other stuff…. I probably wouldn’t of even noticed that little bone in the first place.”
Juniors Freeman Stoned and Trevor Blaze were unable to help Baked out of the hole because of its depth and their impairment, but remained on site long enough for the police to arrive. The police arrived by 4:42 p.m. after receiving calls from concerned members of the campus community, according to Major Michael Jagoda.
“We were afraid to call the police and get in trouble,” Blaze said. “Honestly, Trevor and me were convinced we were gonna go to jail. I guess you could say we were a little paranoid, but the police were super helpful and understanding about the whole mess.”
While Stoned and Blaze argued about whether or not to call for help, Baked said he dug around a bit to discover that the little bone he found was much bigger than he expected.
“I was really relieved when I realized it wasn’t human,” Baked said. “The police didn’t believe me at first that there were some gnarly bones down there – not that I blame them.”
Eventually, once Campus Police realized the situation, they called in for members of the archeology department and other experts to tell them what they had on their hands.
Paleontologist and Columbia Professor Ross Geller said that this was a unique and bizarre find that could have easily been missed.
“This is one of the most exciting things to have ever happened to me and my career,” Geller said. “I really ‘dig’ that I have the chance to work with the University on such a groundbreaking discovery. Hopefully this can really help improve the reputation of the otherwise neglected and lackluster department.”
The University has made no official statement as to how long construction on the engineering project will be held up but it’s unlikely the project will be finished on time, according to Director or Capital Projects Paul DePace.
While this is a huge blow to the project, some students on campus say that they’re excited about the find.
“Who would have ever guessed there’s dinosaurs at URI?” Violet Intaglio said. “This is really cool! Maybe we can finally build a new Fine Arts Center now that the engineering project is screwed.”
In the meantime, it’s anticipated that engineering students will have to continue their current arrangements of taking classes and holding makeshift labs between Pastore Hall and Schneider Electric. Students and faculty alike are disappointed by the turn of recent events.
“This really sucks,” graduate student Kevin Graph said. “All this over a bunch of bones is ridiculous – just pull them out and let’s keep building! This project is way too important to the state and the University to put it on hold.”
Dean of Engineering Raymond Wright is expected to make a statement sometime this week to address how many students and prospective students the program will lose because of this. The admissions department has declined to make any comments to The Bad $5 Vape and asks that the community respect their privacy in their time of mourning.