Cleveland Division of Water to repaint Strongsville water tower

December 17, 2018

Cleveland Division of Water to repaint Strongsville water tower

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- The Cleveland Division of Water will strip and repaint the landmark Strongsville water tower, probably next year.

The project, tentatively scheduled for spring 2019, is expected to cost the water division about $590,000, according to Alex Margevicius, commissioner of water. The water division owns the tower.

“We looked at the (Strongsville water tower), and the exterior coating was starting to show some wear and was reaching the end of its life,” Margevicius told cleveland.com. “So we will sandblast and remove the existing coating and repaint.”

The Strongsville project is part of a larger plan to inspect, maintain and/or paint 11 other towers and nine ground-level tanks within the water division’s service area. For example, the water division recently partnered with LAND studio, a Cleveland nonprofit, to repaint the water tower off the Detroit Shoreway near the West 45th Street exit. A mural was painted on the tower.

Nothing so fancy is planned for the Strongsville water tower. However, the water division does intend to repaint the city’s name on the tank.

Margevicius said he’s also talking to Strongsville officials about keeping the phrase “Home of the Mustangs,” along with the representation of a bucking mustang, on the tower. The city would have to pay for those additions, but it would cost only about $2,000 or so.

The image of Ziggy, the famous cartoon character, will not be preserved or repainted on the tower, city officials said earlier this year. They said Ziggy is a trademarked image and the company that owns the image does not want to grant the city permission to use it.

It was the late Tom Wilson, creator of the Ziggy cartoon, who painted Ziggy on the Strongsville water tower in 1975. This was after a group of Strongsville High School pupils climbed the tower and painted “Ziggy 75” on the tank.

According to Margevicius, the Strongsville water tower -- which is about 145 feet tall and which can hold 1 million gallons of water -- was built in 1954. It last received an overcoat of paint 12 years ago.

When work starts, Strongsville residents will know it, because a giant shroud will cover the tower to control dust and the blowing of paint.

D & M Painting Corp. of Washington, Pa., will perform the work. The firm, according to its website, specializes in water tank rehabilitation.

Three cellular service providers -- Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile -- will have to move their antennas off the water tower temporarily.

Strongsville Building Commissioner Tony Biondillo said a temporary cell tower or towers will hold the antennas off Roe Lane, just north of the Strongsville Police Department and City Council chambers.

The Strongsville tower and tank serves the water division’s Second High West District, which includes parts of the southwest quadrant of Cuyahoga County. Water is pumped into the tower through underground pipes.

By storing water in outlying areas, water pressure spikes and swings are avoided, and water pressure can remain even during times of peak demand.

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