UPDATED: ‘Potential explosive device’ near Cherry found to be construction material, situation all clear

Debra Murray, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: This story is ongoing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

EDIT: 12:10 p.m: Per alert, the ATF has “determined the material found on campus was construction related and posed no threat to campus.” The alert states that classes will resume at 1:50 p.m. and reads “ALL CLEAR.”

EDIT: 1:30 p.m: A Herald reporter spoke with Melissa Bailey, WKU Police’ public information officer, regarding the discovered material.

“It was not an explosive device, it was construction – not a tool, but something from a construction company. It was not an explosive device at all,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the item was “an electrical fuse, but a very large electrical fuse.”

“We just were doing everything we could to make sure that we kept everyone safe until we figured out exactly what it was,” Bailey said in regards to the evacuations and class cancellations. “…That is just our precautionary procedure to do that, just to make sure that everyone is safe until we get the area cleared to figure out what was going on and what it was.”

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A “potential explosive device” was found near Henry Hardin Cherry Hall, according to a WKU campus-wide text alert sent at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

A second alert was sent several minutes later stating that the device is believed to be “construction related”.

“A potential explosive device has been found at Cherry Hall Keep away from the area believed to be construction related,” the alert said. 

Shortly thereafter, another alert, along with a message from university spokesperson Jace Lux, announced that all classes on the Bowling Green campus have been suspended until further notice.

Another alert stated that College High Hall, Van Meter Hall, Gordon Wilson Hall, the Faculty House and the Commons at Helm Library have been evacuated and persons are to stay out of the area.

EDIT: 11:15 a.m: Potter Hall has been evacuated, per alert.

EDIT: 11:20 a.m: Per another email from Lux, all buildings at the bottom of the hill, including Downing Student Union and the Preston Center, are open and operational.  “Students/faculty/staff evacuated from other buildings on campus should utilize those spaces,” the announcement reads.

EDIT: 11:50 a.m: Per an announcement from WKU Parking and Transportation Services, Topper Transit will be suspended at noon until further notice. “Full Transit service will resume once classes resume,” the announcement reads.

EDIT: 12:15 p.m: Dining locations in the Commons at Helm Library are cleared to reopen at 1:15 p.m. Spencer’s Coffee will not reopen today, according to the WKU Restaurant Group.

EDIT: 1:10 p.m: Per PTS, full transit service is to resume at 1:15 p.m.

Melissa Bailey, WKU police department public information officer, Bryan Russell, chief of facilities and Jace Lux, director of media relations, were reached via phone and email for comment but did not respond prior to publication.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy.

News reporter Wyatt Sparkman contributed to this report.