Campanile comeback:

The silence of the campanile has been daunting, but soon campus will hear the familiar sound of bells ringing again.


Important updates on the campanile, carillon keyboard and bells, and when to expect them

The campanile upgrades have officially commenced, with the carillon keyboard and bells transported to the Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio for renovation.

According to Tim Verdin, the president of the Verdin Company, the playing keyboard is nearly complete, all the original Meneely bells have had cast iron lugs and internal plates removed and the bell frame has been re-assembled. Currently, the company is creating drawings for new head pieces and clappers for each bell.

According to Nicholas Fisher, a Senior Development Writer working for the UNI Foundation, the plan is to reinstall the bells either at the end of April or early May. Reinstallation will involve lifting the bells back into the tower, and then installing the new carillon keyboard. The campanile will receive nine new bells, bringing the grand total of bells in the campanile to 56.

Michael Zwanziger, the Director of Facilities Management, notes the fence currently surrounding the campanile remains up as there is still construction occurring in the campanile. It has yet to be determined when the campanile’s plaza will begin renovations. 

So far the university has had 500 donors raise just about $1.5 million out of their $2.2 million goal for campanile upgrades. It is hoped all upgrades and renovations to the campanile and surrounding plaza will be complete by UNI’s 150th anniversary in 2026.