Friends University Repairs Clock Tower

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May 19, 2010

When you have scaffolding going up around a historic building like the Davis building here on the Friends University Campus, people are going to notice.

Last July the area saw a hail storm that really pummeled the campus, packing golf ball to baseball size hail.

Friends University had emergency repairs made immediately, but held off getting the roof replaced on Davis hall until now

“We brought our insurance adjustors in and they said we had about $6-million worth of damage," Randy Doerksen, Friends University Vice Pres. Admin. & Finance said.

Other campus buildings are already repaired. But, Doerksen says Davis Hall had to wait because of the complexity in making repairs

"Being a historic structure we have to take extra care how we manage that kind of project,” Doerksen said. “It's a 120 year old building."

And Friends wants this restored to the way it was built. Now, to those driving down Kellogg, the tiles on the roof might resemble composite shingles. But, a closer inspection shows otherwise.

"Each shingle is very heavy,” Doerksen said. "I think it's about ten pounds. It's a very heavy piece of slate and there's 175 tons of that on this roof."

That is like having about 40 cars sitting on top of the roof. For the same reason, fencing is put up to keep the tiles from falling on people below.

So, about the same time spring semester ended earlier this month, workers started erecting scaffolding so work could begin while most classed are out for the summer. Despite the work, Davis hall will remain open.

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