Bomb squad called to Given building

When undergraduate student Lydia Rees tried to bike by Rowell Building to get to her room in Converse Hall, she was blocked by three people in fluorescent vests and talk about a bomb threat. “Stop. You can not go this way, there is an emergency in the building right now,” Facility Coordinator Sue Williams said to a cyclist trying to weave his way through the confusion. They were two of many that Williams turned away after a suspicious package was found between 2-2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon in the animal care section of the Given Building.  The package was deemed suspicious because of odd color and placement, according to UVM Police Captain Tim Bilodeau. “Our officers spotted it there and verified that the package indeed was suspicious, so we evacuated both the Given and the Health Science Research Facility and established a perimeter,” Bilodeau said. Steve Marriot of South Burlington, one of 20 standardized patients who medical students practice on, was waiting to begin a session, when they had to leave the building. “The alarms went off and we all had to run out in our skivvies!” Marriot said, clad in a blue hospital robe. Many people said they were unaware of why they had to evacuate. “They just told us there was an emergency in the building, but I later found out there was a bomb scare,” medical student Shohei Ikoma said. The University called the State Police to evaluate the package, and the bomb squad arrived around 4:30 p.m. After the bomb squad arrived, they determined the package was not dangerous. “They ended up doing a scan of the package, and disrupting, essentially destroying the package. There were no explosives in the package,” Bilodeau said. “There was nothing in it at all.” “At this point, we don’t know exactly how it got there,” he said. “We will do an additional investigation to see what did happen, who placed it there.”