UNI receives large donation to help with Campanile renovation

CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa’s campanile renovation project is getting a boost with 250-thousand-dollar donation from alumni Jan and Scott Bittner.

UNI Foundation Foundation President Jim Jermier says the phase one of the renovations improved the instrument’s sound.

“There are nine new bells that were installed with the existing 47. All of those bells were completely refurbished along with the carillon itself, and I believe we gained nearly two octaves,” he says. The second phase of the renovations focuses on renovating the plaza around the campanile and the addition of seating and landscaping to create a community gathering area.

“It’s a unifying space, a community space, that will be even more welcoming when this project work is complete,” Jermier says. Other renovations include a temperature-controlled room for the bells in the tower. The total cost of both phases is about two-point-two million dollars, which will come from private donations.

The university hopes to complete the tower’s renovation by 2026, which will mark the school’s 150th anniversary.