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It’s about time: Clock overlooking
main plaza to be fixed for $40,000

October 13, 2011

By Howard Primer

During one of her first drives to campus after taking over as vice president for business affairs and finance in the spring, Stephanie Y. McHenry noticed the clock tower above the Main Classroom elevators didn’t have the correct time.

McHenry began investigating the problem, and the members of Cleveland State community should soon be able to look at the clock tower and not think they’re running late.

“An institution of higher learning should have a clock that works,” McHenry said. “It’s a face of the university.”

The clock usually runs 12 to 14 minutes fast. According to Tania Anochin, project manager for the university architect, small gears in the clock were damaged by high winds, and the clock hands were too heavy. The chewed-up gears can’t move the hands correctly to keep proper time. How far off the clock is may depend on which direction the wind is blowing.

The estimated cost to replace the gears, face, hands and electronics is $40,000.
McHenry said the money will come from savings from the last fiscal year’s budget. The repairs are expected to be complete in a couple months.

The question of how long the clock has been incorrect is a mystery. It’s been at least months, possibly years. Many who have noticed say they don’t remember when it last displayed the correct time.

A survey of students on the plaza the clock tower overlooks indicates this is not a big issue on campus.

Of the 10 asked about the clock, none knew that it was wrong. Several didn’t know the clock was there until it was pointed out.

Shannon Reilly, a junior education major, transferred from Lakeland Community College, which has a clock tower at the entrance of its Kirtland campus.

“It would be a good thing to have if there’s an extra $40,000,” Reilly said. “It can also be used as a point of direction.” She also suggested using the space for artwork created by a CSU student.

Sarah Mabel, a senior special education major, also suggested artwork. “It would be nice to have a painting there, something inspirational.”

The most common suggestion was a digital clock. “It can be fixed with a computer,” Reilly said.

Up next is the electornic clock on the South Side of the Plant Services building. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was 19 minutes fast.

For more on the clock tower, go to hpclevelandstater.wordpress.com