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Bomb threat clears EWU Fine Arts complex


James Eik

A bomb search team from Fairchild Air Force Base enters Eastern Washington University’s Fine Arts complex.

A bomb threat led to the evacuation of Eastern Washington University’s Fine Arts complex last Wednesday morning, sending some classes into nearby Sutton Park and other outside locations.

EWU media director Dave Meany said university police received the call of the bomb threat about 10 a.m. when a student walked into a classroom in the Communications Studies building and found a note on a desk.

“Said ‘A bomb will go off at 10:30 a.m.,’” Meany said last Wednesday. “Which we’re past.”

Cheney and EWU police secured the perimeter around the complex, with the university day care center placed under restrictions preventing children from playing outside in the play area, what university deputy police chief Gary Gasseling called “shelter in place.”

“It was our determination if something exploded they are safer inside away from any flying debris,” Gasseling wrote in an email. “This was prior to the timeline of when the explosion was identified to take place (10:30 a.m.). Once it passed that time parents were allowed to pickup their kids.”

A bomb investigation unit from Fairchild Air Force Base was called in to help sweep the complex, which took about three and a half hours and was completed by 1:30 p.m.

Meany said Monday that university police had interviewed several students who found the note, but had no hard leads. The incident is still under investigation.

John McCallum can be reached at


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