February 2, 2003
11:30 a.m. (PST)
Pronunciation Guide: Perham [Pear-um] and Streit [Strite] halls
PULLMAN, Wash. – A bomb threat has caused Washington State University police to evacuate students living in the Streit-Perham Residence Hall complex today (Feb.2).
Safety personnel began clearing the buildings about 10 a.m. The students were taken to nearby university facilities while three canine teams searched the complex for explosives.
Police were notified of a threat that was planned for Feb. 3 to bomb Perham Hall. After an intensive investigation by WSU and Pullman police, university officials decided to evacuate the buildings today to check for any explosive devices that might be in the complex.
Steve Hansen, WSU police chief, said residents of Streit Hall also had to evacuate because the building is adjacent to Perham Hall. A two-story section of the complex, housing administrative offices for 43 staff members and connecting the two, six-story buildings, also was evacuated.
“We do not have a suspect at this time, so we must take all precautions necessary to be sure our students are safe while we check the buildings and continue the investigation,” the police chief said.
Hansen said it will take the canines and officers several hours to go through the complex. Nearby Pullman residents are being told about the Streit-Perham evacuation. No other university building or residence hall was mentioned in the threat.
Residence Life, Student Affairs and Counseling Services staff members are working with those students who have been evacuated. “We are helping the students with whatever needs they may have,” Charlene Jaeger, vice president for student affairs, said.
“The safety of our students is our most important issue at this time,” University President V. Lane Rawlins, said. “We have asked them all to call their parents and others who may be worried about their welfare. WSU and Pullman police making final checks of the buildings and our students are safe.”
Residence Life staff will be available to help connect parents with students living in either of the buildings. To leave messages for the students, parents should call (509) 335-5925. Students who live in the complex, but are out of the area today (Feb. 2) are asked to check in by calling the above number, or report to the Student Recreation Center.
A Web site is being established at www.livingat.wsu.edu for students to obtain necessary information.
Anyone who has information about the threat is asked to contact the WSU police at (509) 335-4711.
Streit-Perham opened in fall 1962. Originally a women’s residence hall, the two buildings became co-ed in the early 1970s. The living areas of Perham and Streit are separate, but they share a central building that includes the A.E. McCartan Suite that contains the offices of Housing Services, Residence Life, Dining Services, and Housing and Dining Administrative Services.
Residence Life officials said 412 men and women are living in the complex that offers single- and double-room occupancy for the spring 2003 semester.