ECC Water Tower to be Removed
A fixture at East Central College for 50 years will be razed in the coming weeks.
The ECC board of trustees recently approved a contract to remove the water tower on the west side of campus.
The structure had been used solely by the college from 1971 until the 2006-07 academic year, when the college switched to the City of Union water system.
“It served the college well over the years,” said ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer. “It was the first structure put into service.”
Trustees awarded the bid to raze the water tower to McGuire Iron, Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D., a company known as the “Water Tower Experts,” for $39,000. The college will be reimbursed 50 percent of the cost by the State of Missouri maintenance and repair fund.
According to Dr. Bauer, the cost to paint the tower would be $54,000, in addition to a logo or specialized paint on the sphere and the structure would need to be repainted every 10 to 15 years.
“I couldn’t justify the additional cost to paint it and down the road we decide to take it down, or have to paint it again,” he said.
Dr. Bauer added that the tower is expected to be down by June 1.
The college approached local entities to see if there was interest in taking over the use and maintenance of the tower, but there was no interest.
The water tower, a “Horton Water Sphere,” was completed in 1971. A plaque at the base of structure lists the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company, Oak Brook, Ill.
The plaque also states the tower in 100 feet tall and can hold 50,000 gallons of water. The tower has been empty for several years.
College records indicate that ECC entered into a contract with Clark & Son Contractor, St. Clair, to install the tower. The contract was approved June 23, 1970, at the cost of $15,330.