Chances are you’ve never had a school project like the ones some University of Connecticut students took on this year.
As part of the Mechanical Engineering School’s Senior Design Program, a team of three seniors was asked to renovate a Hartford landmark. Together, with the help of sponsors “Friends of Keney Park and the Keney Park Sustainability Project,” along with the City of Hartford, these students were a success.
It was a sound not heard in Hartford in nearly five years - Hartford’s historic Keney Memorial Clock Tower returned to glory Tuesday. A restoration project, spearheaded by three UConn mechanical engineering students, helped this 111-year-old clock battle father time.
“The whole task was a bit daunting. There were a lot of pieces that were gone completely. A lot of things that were broken. We weren’t entirely sure how everything worked,” explained UConn student Henry Courchaine.
The two-semester project required ingenuity and a quite bit of reverse engineering.
“There are a lot of parts up there that are original. There a lot of parts that are from sometime we don’t know when. There are a lot of parts we had to make That are in there now,” Spencer Padget, a UConn senior, explained.
“It was difficult because they weren’t there...when we got there, there was just a bunch of missing components that we had to design from scratch,” Garrett Murphy added.
With these students completing a task, seemingly as tall as the 130-foot tower itself, there comes great satisfaction.
“To hear those bells chime and people turn and look, you know you’re bringing back history, and it’s really great to give it back,” UConn Adjunct Professor Tom Mealy said.
Like all senior college projects, these students will be graded. Before providing an official score, Mealy said he was waiting to see how today went. By all estimations it appears this is A-plus level work.