PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University police are investigating a bomb threat reported this afternoon to the Fine Arts Building on the WSU campus.
The facility, across Stadium Way from the French Administration Building, houses the offices and faculty of the Department of Fine Arts as well as the Museum of Art and its permanent collection. Also a part of the building that opened in 1971 is a three-story parking garage.
Steve Hansen, WSU police chief, said the call came into the fine arts department office shortly before 1 p.m. A message was left on the office’s answering machine stating there was a bomb in the building. Later a second call came into the Department of Public Safety, again reporting a bomb had been placed in the fine arts facility. Soon after, a third call was placed to the E911 center. All calls were believed to be from the same caller. After discussion with fine arts department leadership, it was decided against evacuating the building.
But police are taking the calls seriously. “While we don’t have anyone in custody at the moment, we are pursuing several leads,” the police chief said. “This is a federal offense and the FBI could be looking into such a threat. The caller could be facing stiff fines and jail time of 10 years just for making the threat.”
University officials said that bomb threats will not interrupt class schedules. If any building must be evacuated because of a bomb threat, alternate class sites are available. Tests will be moved to other buildings.
This is the second threat to a campus building in 2003. In early February, a written threat was made to Perham Hall, a residence hall. No bomb was found, but residents of the Streit-Perham Residence Hall Complex were evacuated on a Sunday morning and not allowed to return until Tuesday of that week.