Repair work to begin on Erwin’s clock tower

During the four-day Fall Break, work will begin to bring a Marietta College icon back in time.

Though most of campus is accustomed to seeing two different times displayed on Erwin Hall’s clock tower, Physical Plant Director Fred Smith has worked to resolve those issues. In addition to the clock repair, crews will work to fix a rooftop exhaust fan on Andrews Hall during the Fall Break, which runs through Oct. 12. A large crane will be brought to campus and will affect access to both buildings as well as walking traffic patterns. Smith will email campus prior to the work to alert campus partners about the areas being affected.

Chime Master, a company based in Lancaster, Ohio, was hired to perform the repairs to Erwin.

“We reached a point that making small repairs to the tower was no longer feasible,” Smith said. “The hands and the movements need replaced. We selected Chime Master through the process of competitive pricing. Two companies performed site visits and offered solutions. We selected the best value for the college, and Chime Master also happened to have the most competitive price. Also, they are an Ohio company that use all American-made parts.”

Jeff Crook, a representative from Chime Master, said the company started strictly as a bell company in 1959, but eventually added clocks and tower servicing as the demand grew.

“As we have expanded and improved the offering we have for clients, we have been asked to take over more aspects of our customers’ physical plant operations,” Crook said. “Clocks and Bells have been connected since the Middle Ages, so it was natural for a bell company like Chime Master to add clock maintenance, repair and replacement to our scope of work.”

Crook said his company is installing new clock drives, new hands outside the tower and a new control system for the clocks. Though this is Chime Master’s first job with Marietta College, the company has serviced many clock towers at other colleges and universities, including Ohio State, Penn State and Villanova.

“It is a small number of specialist firms in the world that do this work,” Crook said. “We have customers in every state in the USA, and most U.S. territories. We also have many installations worldwide. Our employees have worked on installations in British Columbia and Ontario in Canada, and Trinidad in the Caribbean.”