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Manchester U to restore chime bells for 100th anniversary

July 31, 2021 GMT

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana university is restoring its chime bells in preparation for ringing in its 100th anniversary next year.

Manchester University has hired The Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, to remove and refurbish the existing 10 bells, create four additional bells, and build a new tower structure.

The removal of 10 bronze bells from the Administration Building tower will occur Aug. 9-11, the university said in a news release.

Plans call for an open bell tower to be installed next spring or summer in the middle of the Manchester University Mall, said Melanie Harmon, the university’s vice president for advancement.

The 10 bronze bells range in weight from 550 pounds (249.48 kilograms) to 2,650 pounds (1202.02 kilograms).

For 97 years, the chimes serenaded students on their way to 8 a.m. classes and sounded again at the dinner hour. It also rang out at commencement, weddings, memorial services and special gatherings such as homecoming and alumni events. They were silenced in 2019 when the Administration Building closed.

In the early 1920s, alumni and friends raised $8,700 to purchase the original chime bells, created by the McShane Bell Foundry of Baltimore, Maryland. They were installed on Aug. 11, 1922.