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Student’s hand grenade art project interrupts finals in KFA

December 20, 2010

A suspicious item that caused the evacuation of Kleinpell Fine Arts around 10 a.m. Monday was a dummy hand grenade that was without gunpowder, said Chief of University Police Richard Trende.

A faculty member found the grenade in a trash can of the men’s bathroom in the basement of KFA, Trende said.

Faculty began the immediate evacuation of the building, which interrupted and postponed finals.

When the University Police and the River Falls Police arrived, most of the students had evacuated, Trende said.

The police then examined the device and found that it not only was a dummy grenade but that it was a student’s art project.

The student came forward almost immediately and was not charged, said Trende.

If the grenade was not readily identified as a fake, a bomb squad from St. Paul would have had to come to dispose of it. There would have been an expense associated with the disposal and if the student had not come forward, he or she may have had to pay for the cost, Trende added.