PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Apparently gargoyles play in Peoria.

Four of the carved stone creatures were installed Thursday atop a new building at Bradley University. Each statue weighs about 3,000 pounds; they were carved from 5 foot by 3 foot slabs of limestone.

School officials say crews put straps under the statues and a crane lifted them atop the building. It took about an hour to secure each gargoyle on the roof of the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center.

Carvers in Bloomington, Ind., took about two months to create the gargoyles, which were once believed to ward off harmful spirits.

Construction of the alumni center started in 2009. It is one of six building projects in Bradley’s $50 million Renaissance Campaign.

Officials say two of the gargoyles will match those on nearby Bradley Hall.

Gargoyles are usually identified with the decorative water spouts atop gothic structures. Non-functional statues are also referred to as “grotesques.”

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch & Listen LIVE