One of Ohio State’s most recognizable landmarks will be torn down to make room for two soccer fields this week.Demolition of the white water tower displaying the university name, located on Fred Taylor Drive near Bill Davis Stadium, is to begin today, said David Sweet, spokesman for physical facilities.”The water tower hasn’t had any water in it for over a decade,” Sweet said. “It was meant to help increase water pressure on the west side of the Olentangy River and also to provide extra capacity for fire fighting capability in case there was a fire.”The tower was built in 1964 for $146,000 and can hold 500,000 gallons, Sweet said.Removal of the water tower will cost $3,000, said Dwight Stuckey, president of Jones-Stuckey Consulting Firm, who runs the contract between physical facilities and Bale Contracting. Bale Contracting is the general contractor for a project called Storm Water Management-Fyffe Road Extension, which includes the demolition of the water tower. The project will help alleviate flooding problems in the Buckeye Village area and it will prepare the area for the expected traffic when the Jerome Schottenstein Center opens. When the city of Columbus added a major water line near the part of campus west of the Olentangy River, the tower was taken off the system because it mixed its well water into the same system with the treated city water, Sweet said. Pittsburgh Tank & Tower Co., Inc. of Henderson, Ky. is taking down the tower, said John Lawter, university landscape architect. Their main focus is to dismantle the tower and to reconstruct it somewhere else, in a small community or town, he said.”They’re taking it down basically for the opportunity to take the tower and resell it somewhere else,” Lawter said.It might take a few weeks to dismantle the tower, Sweet said.OSU wanted to sell the tower a few years ago, but there was no need to spend money on the demolition until there was use for the land, Sweet said.The two new soccer fields will replace the soccer fields that are about to become part of the Jerome Schottenstein Center parking lot, said Paul Krebs, senior associate director of athletics.The athletics department allocated $390,000 for building the soccer fields, Krebs said.Sweet said the plan is to complete the project by the time the Jerome Schottenstein Center opens. “They want to have the road available to handle traffic for basketball games,” he said.The whole project, which will cost around $1.5 million, will be finished by Nov. 1, Gerhart said.
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