James Madison University

Large university synchronizes clocks, saves money and improves the user experience as it expands a popular recreation center

 

JMU Quick Facts

  • Type of project: Building expansion and renovation
  • American Time solution: SiteSync IQ wireless clock system 
  • Approximate area covered: 278,000 square feet 

James Madison University (JMU) is a nationally ranked, public research university that educates more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. An NCAA Division 1 school, its University Recreation (UREC) facility promotes healthy lifestyles for everyone on campus and is a national leader in the development and use of student learning outcomes in the field of collegiate recreation.

Challenge

To meet the demand of the students’ exceptionally high participation rates, JMU expanded the UREC facility to include nearly 138,000 square feet of new space – bringing the total square footage to approximately 278,000. The existing part of the facility already included a synchronized time system, however that system did not consistently keep the clocks on the same, precise time: They had to be adjusted frequently and manually corrected for daylight saving time changes. 

As JMU planned the expansion, it knew it needed a more reliable system for ensuring all of its clocks were in sync. “In such a large facility, it’s crucial that all classes start and end on time, and that even the students in the locker rooms know exactly how much time they have to get to class,” said Bob Golson, associate director of facilities and operations at the UREC. “If people are constantly too late or too early, it impacts the experience and enjoyment of the facility.”

Solution

After searching for clock technology and system providers online, JMU met with American Time. American Time recommended a SiteSync IQ Wireless System and a 40-watt master clock with a signal that could reach any clock in the facility. JMU also purchased 48 wireless digital clocks that were recognized and synched by the master controller upon installation. With this wireless system, JMU avoided the need of running a wired system throughout the new parts of the UREC and saved thousands of dollars.

In the event of a power outage, the digital clocks will immediately sync with the master clock when the power returns, thereby avoiding the need to correct any of the clocks by hand.

“American Time understood what we needed to do to get everything synchronized through the original and new parts of the UREC,” explained Golson. “No other vendor offered a solution that met our needs like American Time.”

Results

“The system and clocks are working just as American Time said they would,” said Golson. 

The old synchronized time system was removed and the new SiteSync IQ wireless system keeps all clocks on the same time, along with updating them automatically for daylight saving time changes. The UREC facility now has classes that start and end at precise times, and students can be certain of when they should arrive to a class. “Everything is covered,” said Golson. “The master clock sends a time signal to all of the other clocks, from the fourth floor all the way to the front entrance.”

Golson went on to note the ease of working with the team at American Time. “Everyone there has been great,” he said. “From the headquarters staff who got me the quotes, to our sales contact, everyone has been helpful and responsive.”