Faculty, staff and students stood on the lawn of NNU’s campus Tuesday afternoon to watch as a three-ton, 25-bell carillon and the cap of the bell tower for the university’s new Leah Peterson Learning Commons was raised into place. This event marked the completion of the highest point on the building’s external structure.
According to NNU President David Alexander, “The bells were located through Brosamer Bells in Michigan and then sent to Eldenhorst Bells in Pennsylvania to be prepared for the installation at NNU. The two-octave, 25-bell carillon will play hymns, chime the hour and ring out seasonal melodies.” It was placed in the open-air tower just prior to the cap’s raising.
Strong wind gusts nearly postponed the installation of the cap, but after a few tests, the crane operator determined conditions were safe to complete the project.
The tower’s cap, complete with dormer windows, was constructed at ground level earlier this spring. In early April, hundreds of NNU students and employees signed their name on the cap, making their physical mark on this moment of university history.
The multifunctional Learning Commons will house the library’s traditional book and periodical collections, a variety of spaces including group study rooms, a quiet reading room and individual and collaborative computer workstations designed to address different learning needs. The Learning Commons will also accommodate the University’s network data center and academic services units including Academic Advising and Testing, Academic Support Center, E-learning Services, Information Technology, Technology and Media Resources, and University Archives. Also housed in the commons will be the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning which will focus on preparing future teachers for the 21st century, training of current teachers (PK—college professors) and administrators, and equipping NNU faculty to bring technology into their teaching.
The building, totaling nearly 57,000 square feet, is scheduled for completion August 2014.
PHOTO CAP: NNU employees and students sign the Learning Commons bell-tower cap.