An iconic landmark at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is receiving a facelift that began earlier this week as part of yearlong restoration efforts to the structure.
Work began March 20 on renovations to the Donald W. Reynolds Bell Tower on UAFS campus that will help restore the structure to its original condition after showing signs of aging.
UAFS entered into a contract with MAHG Architecture, an architecture firm based in Fort Smith who originally designed the Bell Tower, to investigate the structure in March to create drawings and repair specifications. Once those specifications are outlined, the university will bid out a contract for the repairs, which are expected to begin in late summer and be completed midway through 2018, according to Bill Pierce, director of plant operations at UAFS.
Expected repairs include upgrading to LED lighting for increased energy efficiency, replacing the roof, and re-caulking, resealing, and re-mortaring the brick.
Brad Sheriff, vice chancellor for finance and administration at UAFS, said the repairs are necessary for maintaining one of the university’s most prominent structures.
“Simply put, the renovation is necessary because the Bell Tower is showing its age and needs to be maintained,” Sheriff said. “This is an important project to preserve a building that is iconic not just for UAFS but for the city of Fort Smith and the region.”
The Bell Tower was constructed in 1994 following a gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. As the tallest structure on campus and one of the tallest free-standing belfries in the region, the tower has become synonymous with UAFS and has been depicted on previous university branding.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.