Two Western Mass. Community Colleges Shut Down by Threats in Two Days

Two western Massachusetts colleges cleared their campuses this week in response to messages that threatened violence. On Monday it was Holyoke Community College, and Tuesday, Springfield Technical Community College. 

Campus police at STCC received a phone call Tuesday declaring a bomb on campus, according to college president Ira Rubenzahl. He says the police took the call seriously and chose to evacuate campus. A bomb was not found, and classes resumed today. Rubenzahl says he hopes the caller is found and arrested. And, says Rubenzahl,  “that people will understand that doing these kinds of things are…subject to criminal penalties. I’m hoping that will deter from doing anything like this additional,” Rubenzahl says.

Rubenzahl says this was the first bomb threat the school has received since he became president in 2004. He says he thought the evacuation went well, but says administrators will evaluate the school’s response to determine how to improve the evacuation plan. Both the STCC and Holyoke Community College threats are currently under police investigation.