The site of a massive school fire earlier this month has become a danger zone because of souvenir hunters sifting through the ashes in a building that could collapse on top of them.
Tulsa Public Schools has decided to erect a fence around the site of the former Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences at E. 17th St. and S. Lewis Ave.
The building had previously housed Barnard Elementary School.
It was built in 1927.
The cause of last week's fire remains under investigation, but now that TFD and ATF investigators have moved off of the site the problem of trespassers has worsened.
The school district does have around-the-clock security on the site, but has decided to move forward with the fence.
KRMG obtained this statement from district spokesman Chris Payne:
"As we continue to work with the ATF on wrapping up the investigation of last week's fire at the district’s Barnard property, there have been many reports of people trying to access the property to recover memorabilia or for other reasons. The area has been secured and is patrolled by security personnel 24/7. Nevertheless, our concern is that the integrity of the remaining structure has been seriously compromised and the environment throughout the site is extremely hazardous. In addition, a security fence with warning signs is being put up today. In spite of these significant security measures, it is possible that people still may seek to breach our security. If this is done they risk serious injury or even death by going anywhere on the property. We want residents, particularly children, to be safe. In order to deter persons from seeking souvenirs or memorabilia from the site, the District has determined that at some point during the recovery effort, we will identify any items that can be salvaged with an eye toward preserving what items we can to share with Barnard's many alumni and fans. The Board of Education, at a later time, will determine exactly how such property will be disposed of."