Bell tower undergoes maintenance updates

The Daily News


Last week Ball State began repairs to Shafer Tower, one of the university’s more prominent landmarks. Jim Lowe, director of engineering and construction operations, said the construction is nothing more than regular maintenance being done to prevent further degradation to the tower.

“All of the assembly that goes into the cladding of a building expands and contracts at a different rate,” Lowe said. “As it does that, it becomes a living and breathing structure, it’s constantly moving.”

Cladding is intended to protect the structure from exposure to wind and rain. After 11 years of exposure to ultraviolet rays, the cladding between Shafer Tower’s brick and limestone has started to wear down. He said they are repairing mortar joints or taking out caulking to keep the structure sound.

Lowe said the university plans to complete all of the repairs in two phases, the first of which will end between Aug. 5 and 15, a week before students begin coming back to campus. Phase two will begin next summer and should be the only repairs needed for the next nine or 10 years. 

“Were going to do a little bit of work this summer so we can get in and get out before students return and we’re going to do the same thing next year,” Lowe said. “Every building has that need.”