Xenia has one of the country’s oldest water towers. It is about to get a paint job.

One of the city of Xenia’s oldest structures is due for a paint job, and the city is working with art students in the schools to design a mural.

Preparation is underway to repaint two water towers in Xenia — the one on West Second Street and the one on Patton Street.

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American Suncraft Company won the competitive bid process on the $1 million contract, which City Council approved in May, according to city records.

The West Second Street tower is now drained, and it is being prepared for heavy-duty paint on the interior and exterior of the tower. The job is expected to be finished by the end of August, and then American Suncraft crews will work to drain and prepare the Patton Street tower, according to Xenia spokesman Lee Warren.

Warren said the city’s other water tanks will remain full and in-service while the two tanks are drained and repainted.

“The West Street tower is currently out of service, but the Patton Street is fully operational,” Warren said. “If there is a peak demand for water during the painting cycle for either tower, our water treatment plant can produce more water to meet demand.”

Warren said this is the first paint to go on the West Second Street tower since it was built around 2001-2002.

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The Patton Street tower, built in 1887, has been recognized by the Steel Plate Fabricators Association as one of the oldest in the country, according to the Dayton Daily News archives.

The tower hasn’t been painted in 20 to 30 years. It has the capacity to store 3 million gallons of water, according to city records.

“We are working with Xenia Community Schools and art students in the hopes of designing a mural that may be used on the Patton Street tower once it is base painted,” Warren said.

Ron Boling, owner of American Suncraft, said his crew has been preparing to paint the West Second Street tank since last week. That involves installing equipment at the top of the 180-foot tower to raise and lower workers.

Boling estimated it will take between 500 and 900 gallons of paint to cover the structure.

“Ninety percent of our water tower work is sandblasting down to bare metal and repainting, and it takes 10-12 weeks for that,” he said. “We use containment curtains around the tower to keep paint off other people’s property, or if there is lead paint involved. There’s no lead on this one. We usually only see that on towers painted before the mid-seventies.”

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