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Bomb threat rattles Simon’s Rock community

Students were notified at about 8:30 a.m. by email and text that there was a bomb threat and that they were expected to shelter in place and attend classes online. Police later said, "The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe."

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Great Barrington Police.

GREAT BARRINGTON — A bomb threat this morning at Bard College of Simon’s Rock disrupted the day, prompted a lockdown, caused buildings to be evacuated and brought numerous police onto the campus.

Students were notified at about 8:30 a.m. by email and text that there was a bomb threat and that they were expected to shelter in place and attend classes online. Great Barrington police also put out a statement on the department’s Facebook page that authorities had been notified of a “threat” on the campus.

“The campus is currently on lockdown and appropriate investigative and emergency personnel are on scene,” police said, adding that more information would be made available “at a later time.”

Messages shared on the Great Barrington Community Facebook page said both entrances to the Alford Road campus were blocked and that some of the students had been relocated from their dormitories to the Kilpatrick Athletic Center. A subsequent email to members of the athletic center announced that the facility, which is open to the public, was closed until further notice.

An intern for the NEWSletter, Simon’s Rock student Sheridan Ameo, told NEWSletter publisher Eileen Mooney that, at about 8:45 a.m., students were told the threat “was deemed credible by police” and that three dorms, including hers, were evacuated to the athletic center.

“On the way there I saw several police cars and police officers, a (presumably bomb-sniffing) police dog, and one ambulance,” Ameo wrote.

Students stayed in the Kilpatrick until around 10:30 a.m., when they were allowed to grab lunch and return to their rooms. All classes were online today, and classes before noon were canceled, Ameo said.

One source told The Edge on condition of anonymity that s/he received a call at about 1:45 p.m. from Simon’s Rock officials stating, “Great Barrington police and fire along with other emergency personnel have cleared the campus. Prior to their departure they stated that all faculty, staff, and students are allowed to return to normal operations in accordance with their current phase.”

At 2:45 p.m. Thursday, Great Barrington Police Chief Paul Storti released the following statement:

This morning shortly after 7:15 a.m., Simons Rock College contacted the Great Barrington Police Department to report a bomb threat they received via email. The school immediately initiated their safety protocols while the Great Barrington Police Department investigated the threat.

The Great Barrington Fire Department, officers from Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts State Police, MSP Detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Unit, assisted on scene. The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe. The incident is being actively investigated by Great Barrington Police and State Police assigned to the DA’s Office.

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