Ottawa University has reopened its Ottawa, Kan., campus after “suspicious packages” left over from a birthday scavenger hunt were determined to be harmless.
The campus reopened about 10:30 a.m. after the packages were opened, eliminating the concerns. All afternoon classes will be held as scheduled.
University security found packages at two buildings on campus about 5:45 a.m., said Capt. Adam Weingartner, a spokesman for Ottawa police.
One package was found outside Tauy Jones Hall and two packages were found inside Mowbray Student Union, said Paula Paine, manager of public relations for Ottawa University.
Ottawa police were notified, and then students and staff were notified through the university’s electronic alert system, Paine said.
Buildings within 300 feet of the packages were evacuated and the campus was closed about 7 a.m. People were warned to stay off the campus.
The 911 center for Ottawa also notified neighbors through reverse 911 calls, Weingartner said.
One of the packages was described as a brown canvas-looking type of box that was oddly shaped and had black electrical tape on it, according to a Ottawa police dispatcher.
A bomb squad from the Topeka Police Department as well as officials with the FBI and ATF responded, Weingartner said.
About 8:30 a.m., officers interviewed several students and said there was no criminal intent.
The bomb squad determined the packages to be safe and police dogs from the Kansas Highway Patrol went through the buildings.
The Ottawa Fire Department, Franklin County Ambulance and Franklin County Sheriff’s department also responded to the campus.