Aug 19, 2021 - News
The University of Tampa is getting a huge, modern bell tower
Photo courtesy of the University of Tampa

If the University of Tampa’s Sykes Chapel doesn’t ring a bell for you, it’s about to.

What’s happening: John and Susan Sykes' donation project, more than two decades in the making, is now only a year from completion — with a huge bell tower structure surrounded by a plaza with a fountain and lots of green space.

  • It will be home to the largest Ars Sonora in the world, connecting 61 hand-crafted bronze bells to an electronic piano keyboard, and the first of its kind in the U.S.
  • The 105-foot structure is designed to withstand Category 5 hurricanes and wind speeds beyond 160 miles per hour, along with six lines of defense for lightning and power surge protection, according to the university.

By the numbers: The structure includes ...

  • About six miles of wiring.
  • Four swinging motors.
  • 147 lights.
  • 63 bells (two are ornamental).
  • 18 reinforced concrete drilled piers, embedded as deep as 80 feet underground.

One number we don't know: The total cost. UT isn’t discussing how much was donated for the project.

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