Centralia College’s iconic clock tower is getting a facelift this summer.
After graduation June 17 and continuing through the summer, the wood beams in the 25-year-old clock tower will be replaced with a taller steel structure and a new clock face. The resulting tower will be about 10 feet taller at just over 40 feet.
“Any wooden, outdoor structure in Washington is going to have a limited lifespan,” explained Steve Ward, vice president of administrative services. “We’ve reached that point with the clock tower. The timbers have exceeded their useful life. Replacing the wood beams with steel will ensure we meet seismic standards, and the taller, more modern design fits in well with our campus today.”
The current clock tower was built in 1991. At the time, it was the tallest structure on campus. In the 25 years since it was built, Centralia College’s campus has changed dramatically with the addition of the Walton Science Center, Washington Hall, and TransAlta Commons (construction to finish in early 2017).
In 1997, the college began the Clock Tower Diversity Project, featuring monuments to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to the northwest around the clock tower’s base. The clock tower’s original base and the diversity monuments will not be altered in any way.
The clock tower renovation project is expected to cost about $400,000 and will be paid out of the state’s capital appropriation. The college will seek construction bids on the project in the coming weeks.
Construction will finish before fall quarter classes start in September.