Iconic State Landmark Coming Down; Student Protests

Our iconic water tower is coming down after more than 100 years of standing as an unofficial symbol of State. Not everyone is okay with the decision. For one history major on campus, the call was made too quickly.

“It’s a symbol of the University. It’s been there for so many Yellow Jackets over the years, nearly since the school was founded,” the student said. “I’m disappointed.”

On Feb. 26, an “all student” e-mail from President Dr. Anthony Jenkins announced the dismantling of the water tower. Major repairs and structural concerns were cited as contributing factors.

This isn’t the first time the water tower has been in desperate need of repair. Back in the 1980s, a consultant recommended the water tower be removed after a routine inspection found structural damage.

A “Save Our Tower,” campaign rallied students and alumni alike. With time, they raised enough funds to refurbish the tower.

“I feel like something should be done. It’s a historic landmark.” The history major said, “I wish we had more time.”

Though it hasn’t fulfilled its original purpose since 1969, when the West Virginia Water Company installed a pump station on campus grounds, the tower has become a symbol of honor for many alumni, students and friends.

According to Jenkins, the water tower will be lowered on Monday, and will be resurrected as a monument at a later date, complete with a plaque explaining its significance to future Yellow Jackets.

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