University of Illinois bells silent during $160,000 repairs

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The bells at the University of Illinois are now silent as its tower undergoes more than $160,000 in repairs. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the goal is to resume the Altgeld Chimes’ noontime concerts by next fall, but it isn’t clear when, if ever, they’ll be open to public visitors again. A safety inspection last October after the retirement of longtime chimesmaster Sue Wood led the campus to suspend the popular public tours. About 2,000 people visited the bells each year for daily concerts. The chimes were shut completely March 17 for repairs after more problems were discovered. Officials say public tours aren’t likely to resume until a much larger renovation of Altgeld is complete. The $90 million project is several years away.