PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University police said that students displaced because of the evacuation of Streit-Perham residence hall complex on Sunday (Feb. 2) will be allowed to return to their rooms on Tuesday (Feb. 4) morning.
Police Chief Steve Hansen said his office was notified of a bomb threat stating Perham Hall was the target and the incident would occur on Feb. 3. For the students’ safety, police evacuated Perham, nearby Streit Hall and the administrative office building in the center of the complex at about 10 a.m. on Sunday.
The complex will open at 6:30 a.m. The intersection of Stadium Way/Colorado/Orchard Dr.- near the buildings – is expected to reopen about 4 a.m.
Hansen said the investigation continues, and urged anyone with information about the threat to call investigators at (509) 335-4711. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has offered a $500 reward for information.
“The threat is being taken very seriously,” the police chief said. The threat is classified as a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and five years in prison. Investigators from WSU and Pullman Police Departments are working on the case. A copy of the written message has been given to FBI officials.
More than 300 students and guests, including at least one visiting mom, were evacuated on Sunday. Students met with Residence Life staff members and were able to stay at the center or visit friends. Since the initial meeting, all of the residents have checked in with university officials. About 90 students spent Sunday evening at the center. Staff members from Student Affairs, Counseling Services and Residence Life have been working with the individual needs of each student.
Three canine units found no explosives in their search of the resident hall complex on Sunday. However, university officials agreed with police that the buildings should not be opened until after the targeted date in the threat. Following the thorough search of the buildings, students were escorted in groups to their rooms so they would retrieve – in 10 minutes – books, clothing and other essentials.
According to Eleanor Finger, director of Residence Life, the outpouring of support from university students and community members has been overwhelming. Residence Hall Association and Pullman businesses have provided food, snacks, games and videos. Other residence halls and sororities and fraternities have offered food and housing. Area families, too, have offered to take in the students.