Threat leads to closing of UW-W’s Williams Center

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
— A dog trained in detecting explosives was brought in Tuesday to search a UW-Whitewater building after a threatening note was found in a men’s restroom.

The Williams Center, which is the campus athletics building, was evacuated and will remain closed until 6 a.m. Thursday.

“This is a precautionary measure to make sure the building is safe before everybody goes back in,” UW-W spokesman Jeff Angileri said.

The closure included the adjoining Kachel Fieldhouse. No Warhawk athletics events were scheduled during the time of the closure, but 75 intramural competitions were canceled, Angileri said.

The Warhawk softball game against UW-Platteville was canceled Tuesday because of the weather, not the threat, Angileri said.

A few classes scheduled to be held in the Williams Center had to be canceled, and those with offices in the building had to relocate, Angileri said.

Angileri would not say when on Tuesday the note was found or how it was discovered, saying that was part of the investigation. He said officials “responded quickly” Tuesday.

Angileri insisted on the word “device,” instead of “bomb.” He said he could not yet explain why because that information is part of an ongoing investigation.

“A message was found in one of the men’s restrooms stating that a device would go off in the building,” according to a notice posted on the university’s website Tuesday.

The dog and its handler were from UW-Madison campus police. The dog is trained in detecting explosives, a UW-Madison spokeswoman said.

Angileri did not know why the center was scheduled to be closed for nearly two days. Public school bomb threats typically are dealt with in a matter of hours.

Making a false bomb threat is a felony in Wisconsin.

Last updated: 4:56 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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