By Liam Dacko
Update (4:02 p.m.): The Shields Science Center has been cleared to be re-opened, according to a Stonehill College Announcement sent via email.
In another announcement sent at approximately 3:15 p.m., Director of Communications and Media Relations Martin McGovern said emergency workers were able to determine the cause of the chemical spill.
“The spill was determined to be a water-based solution from a four liter glass container of the diluted chemicals copper sulphate and hydrochloric acid,” McGovern said. “The hazardous material team neutralized the spill and has tested the Science Center air quality, which poses no threat. The hazardous waste disposal company, Clean Harbors, has been brought in to dispose of the material.”
Update (1:56 p.m.): Director of Communications and Media Relations Martin McGovern confirmed that the evacuation was due to a chemical spill. The Shields Science Center will be closed for three hours.
McGovern said the situation is under control, but a Hazmat team for the Easton Department of Fire Services is on the scene as a precaution.
Previously: The Shields Science Center, located behind the Martin Institute, was evacuated at around 1 p.m. this afternoon.
A tweet sent out by Brockton Enterprise photographer Marc Vasconcellos at 12:58 p.m. claims the evacuation may have been due to a possible chemical spill in the building. However, this information has not been confirmed by Campus Police.
At the time of the evacuation, Officer Rose Litwinczuk of Campus Police was unable to disclose any information about the incident. However, she did say there was no fire in the building.
A police officer was seen putting up police tape in front of the building around 1:15 p.m. As he did so, he announced that nobody would be able to get into the building for two hours.
While waiting to hear word about whether or not they would have to attend class in light of the evacuation, a crowd of Stonehill’s students milled around the Shields promenade.
Students could be seen and heard joking, despite the seriousness of the situation. When it was announced that nobody would be allowed in the building for two hours, most of the students in the area cheered.
Senior Trone Eng said he was heading to class when the building was evacuated. He was walking toward the front entrance of the building when students and faculty started coming out of the building.
Eng said he was happy his class was cancelled due to the evacuation.
“I don’t have any classes on Friday, so now I can start my weekend early.”
Gina Micucci, on the other hand, was less than pleased about the evacuation. When it was announced she would not be able to retrieve her belongings from the building, she expressed her frustration.
“Oh, no, my stuff,” she said during the announcement.
Micucci said she did not know what was going on when the alarms started ringing.
“I thought it was a drill, but thought it was weird because we’ve never really had a drill in the Science Center,” she said.