Inside Clemson

Water tower to come down

Photo by Judy Tribble

By Jackie Todd, Office of Media Relations

Clemson’s skyline will change in a few weeks. The 200,000-gallon water tower that stands next to Clemson House at S.C. 93 and U.S. 123 will be dismantled beginning this week.

Built in 1950, the 155-foot structure, according to the university’s Housing and Dining Services department, will take about two to three weeks to be completely removed.

“The design of the water tower is now obsolete, so we won’t be able to relocate the original tower,” said James Bonney, University Housing & Dining’s associate director of residential facilities – projects. “The tower will be recycled and a new one-million gallon water tower will be built on Kite Hill.”

Bonney said that because there are other water towers on campus—including an existing water tank at Kite Hill– the removal of the structure next to Clemson House will have little impact to the water supply. In fact, the Kite Hill tank was upgraded in 2013 to increase water capacity in anticipation of the removal of the Clemson House water tower.

“The current water tower situation in the area has redundancy and that the loss of this water tower will only minimally impact storage capacity, and will have no impact on water pressure,” he explained.

The removal of the tower comes in support of the Douthit Hills construction, which began in mid-December. When complete, the Douthit Hills project will offer approximately 1,730 new student beds and a mixed retail and student-amenities facility at its center.

Judy Tribble has hundreds of photos of the water tower. A 30-year veteran of Clemson, Tribble works in the Clemson House as a data coordinator for the university’s Housing and Dining Services department. And she has made a hobby of taking photos of the structure when she comes to work.

“I love the way the morning sun reflects off the bottom of the tower—it makes some really good shots,” said Tribble. “When I found out that the tower was coming down, I posted some of the photos on my Facebook.”

While Tribble will miss the tower, she understands why it has to be removed.

“I think it’ll be fine as long as it is reused,” she said. “Just as long as they replace it somewhere it’ll be good.”

Bidding for the new water tower at Kite Hill will begin in March. The Facilities Department reports that site construction for the new tower will begin later this year and is projected to be complete sometime in the summer of 2016.