A Routt County Sheriff's Office deputy keeps watch at The Lowell Whiteman School campus Thursday morning. The school was evacuated Wednesday evening in response to a threat, and the school was closed Thursday and Friday.

Photo by John F. Russell

A Routt County Sheriff's Office deputy keeps watch at The Lowell Whiteman School campus Thursday morning. The school was evacuated Wednesday evening in response to a threat, and the school was closed Thursday and Friday.

Lowell Whiteman School near Steamboat Springs evacuated after threat

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— Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said The Lowell Whiteman School will remain closed Friday as law enforcement officials try to find a former student who sent a threatening email.

Birch said the threat was specifically directed toward people who work at the school.

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the school Wednesday afternoon, and the school’s boarding students and staff members were evacuated to off-campus housing. The school was closed Thursday, but Chief Financial Officer Jay Readinger said that about six employees were working there. A Sheriff’s Office deputy was on guard.

Birch did not want to give specific information about the man they were looking for or details about the threat.

“We don’t have an individual in custody right now,” Birch said at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Birch said the man they are looking for lives in the Denver area, and the Sheriff’s Office was working with other police agencies to find him.

The private Lowell Whiteman School is a high school with 53 students this year. About 30 students and several staff members live at the school, located about 5 miles north of Steamboat along Routt County Road 36. The school is known for its outdoor education programs, study abroad opportunities and a schedule that can be tailored to meet the needs of athletes who compete in winter sports.

"There is no immediate risk or danger to any school, students or faculty at this time," Undersheriff Ray Birch said.

The threat did not involve any other schools.

It was not clear when The Lowell Whiteman School would reopen, and school officials remained cautious.

"We very much hope we're overreacting," Readinger said.

Readinger said staff members at the school had notified parents about the incident by calling them.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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