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Water tower getting makeover

Every 15 years USF’s on-campus water tower gets a new paint job, but this year’s update will feature a new design and plenty of “Bull pride,” the artists said.

Facilities project managers Sarah Baynard and Michael Ballester were responsible for the design of the fire lane that sits to the east of the Marshal Student Center. It displays the USF Bulls logo in green and gold.

They said they used that as an inspiration for the next water tower design.

Ballester, who graduated from USF in 2003 with a master’s degree in architecture, said she and her partner wanted to incorporate the green and gold school colors from top to bottom.

“We were trying to keep context with the University, so there’s using the green and the gold … as we’ve seen around campus,” he said. “There’s lots of inspiration on campus so that’s what we were going for.”

Baynard, who graduated in 2009 with a degree in business, said they have been working on the design for about a year.

“It’s a maintenance need,” she said. “We just thought of an opportunity to introduce some Bull pride and use the athletics logo, since it is recognizable. The fire lane that was done last year … was applied to the top of the water tower. Then we just thought the sides needed to be more dressed up … with the bands.”

Siva Prakash, associate director of the USF Physical Plant, said in an email that the project began in January and is expected to be completed in mid to late April.

“The total project (from start to finish) takes several months,” he said. “Physical Plant performs an annual inspection of the water tower to monitor the overall condition in accordance with established standards to ensure the proper functioning of the tower. Water towers require a special type of protective paint which has a life expectancy of approximately 15 years, which is how long ago the base of (the) water tower was last painted.”

Prakash said the project costs about $250,000, which includes paint and contractor costs.

“We believe the new look for the water tower will further instill Bull pride in our students, faculty and staff, as well as be identified with the University of South Florida for those in the community,” he said.

Baynard and Ballester said they are looking forward to the public’s reaction once painting is complete.

“Things that start out as napkin sketches and they end up bold and in your face and right out in public view, (are) really rewarding,” Ballester said. “We’re very excited to see everyone’s reaction. We’re excited to see it completed. We’re really looking forward to the final product.”