The construction of the majestic 75-foot bell tower at Dalton State College, Dalton, Georgia, will “transform” the campus into a more traditional-looking college environment.
“Over time, the bell tower will become the physical icon for the campus, showing not only the community’s support for Dalton State but also the aspirations of the institution,” remarks David Elrod, Director of Institutional Advancement.
The bell tower, which should be completed by November, is the first “bricks and mortar” project resulting from funds raised by the DSC Foundation’s successful $21 million capital campaign earlier this year.
Local architect Greg Sims drew up the plans for the bell tower and the quadrangle and has been overseeing the project, Elrod says. Paccard Fonderie des Cloches is the France-based foundry from which the “tailor-made” bells were ordered.
“The bells were poured earlier this year and were transported by ship containers to the port in Charleston,” Elrod says, noting that the Paccard foundry has been “casting” bells since 1796.
“The bells range in size from the smallest, which weighs 49 pounds and is only 12 inches tall, to the largest, which is 40 inches in diameter and weighs 1, 323 pounds,” he adds.
The bells, which are cast of bronze, contain pure copper and block tin at various ratios depending on the size of each bell, but most bells are comprised of 78 percent copper and 22 percent tin.
Once completed, the bell tower will toll the Westminster Chimes on the hour, every hour. The bells in the tower can be programmed to play as many as 1,000 different melodies.
On occasion, a carillonneur will be invited to campus to play the bells on a traditional keyboard for concerts and special events.