Bomb threat causes evacuation, snarls traffic at Homestake Peak School in Eagle- Vail | VailDaily.com | VailDaily.com

Bomb threat causes evacuation, snarls traffic, at Homestake Peak School in Eagle-Vail

Homestake Peak School workers escort children from the Eagle-Vail Pavilion on Friday, Jan. 11, after the school closed early for the day due to a bomb threat.

EAGLE-VAIL – A bomb threat made at Homestake Peak School put an early stop to class on Friday, Jan. 11, and snarled traffic in the area.

Students were brought to the nearby Eagle-Vail Pavilion where they waited for a pick up from their parents or guardians, who were notified by the school’s communications department that they could come and pick up their children.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Department secured the area surrounding the school and pavilion, only allowing access from one point and not allowing cars or pedestrians past the pavilion, located at 538 Eagle Drive.

Students whose parents weren’t able to pick them up with a vehicle were offered bussing from the school. For those kids, it made for a longer day than normal, despite the fact that the threat came in more than two hours before the end of the school day. Normal pick-up time is 3:20 p.m.

“We have busses en route,” Assistant Superintendent Katie Jarnot said at about 3:45 p.m. “But … the traffic is pretty crazy.”

Erik Williams, of Edwards, said he waited in a line of cars for about 30 minutes to pick up his kids.

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“For a Friday afternoon, it wasn’t bad,” he said. “As much as I don’t want to see this happen at the school, I get to go see my kids.”

Some parents who walked to the pavilion to try to pick their kids up on foot were turned away. A few parents expressed frustration with the lack of availability for non-vehicular pickup.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Claudia Arreola. “It makes so much traffic. I know it’s for safety, but it’s ridiculous.”

Arreola said she received a text at about 2:40 p.m. that she could come pick up her children – Carlos, who is in 4th grade; Joseline, who is in third grade; and Santigo, who is in fourth grade. It took her until after 4 p.m. to retrieve her kids.

“It’s the second time,” she said. “A month ago, they put the kids in (the pavilion) because they smelled gas at the school.”

Jarnot said despite the traffic, the effort connect children with their parents went well.

“This is like the smoothest, best reunification I’ve ever seen,” Jarnot said. “And I think it’s because there’s only one way in, which is real frustrating for people, but it is moving real smoothly. I’m proud of HPS, they’re doing an amazing job.”