Purdue University Northwest’s newest structure, a steel bell tower at its Hammond campus, rang its first official chimes in late April as part of a ribbon-cutting and celebration.
PNW administrators, students, faculty and staff members, and public officials came together at the site of the bell tower, near Lawshe Hall and the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building on the Hammond campus, to celebrate completion of the structure’s construction, which began in November 2021.
“This marks a truly special day in Purdue Northwest’s history,” said PNW Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “Our new bell tower will be a distinctive visual landmark for years to come.”
The structure will serve as a visual landmark on the Hammond campus. PNW leaders expect the tower to become a central gathering place for students, alumni and other campus visitors.
The steel and fabrication was donated by Indianapolis-based Lenex Steel Co.
“It is a privilege to partner with others in constructing the tower as a way to celebrate the students, staff, faculty and community of Purdue Northwest,” said Michael Berghoff, president of Lenex Steel Co. and chairman of the Purdue University Board of Trustees.
The original idea for a bell tower began with past PNW Student Government Association leadership. The concept was brought to faculty in the College of Technology, which included Dean Niaz Latif and Rick Rickerson, laboratory administrator.
Five students and a faculty member worked on the design, analysis and cost proposals for the bell tower as a capstone project during 2019 and 2020. The group included:
- Todd Burns, B.S. Construction Engineering and Management Technology ‘20
- Lacey Doyle, B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology ‘21
- Nic Packwood, B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology ’21; M.S. Industrial Engineering Technology ‘22
- Jesus de la Cruz, lecturer of Mechanical Engineering Technology; B.S. Mechanical Engineering Technology ’17; M.S. Industrial Engineering Technology ‘19
- Afshin Zahraee, assistant professor of Construction Engineering and Management Technology
“I am truly grateful to the university and the College of Technology for allowing us, the students, to be part of PNW’s history,” said De la Cruz. “This was a great experience. I really enjoyed working with everyone involved and I cannot wait to bring my family to come see it.”