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Westminster water tower getting face-lift to provide ‘a warm, fuzzy welcome’ to McDaniel College campus

The water tower that looms above McDaniel College’s campus in the heart of Westminster is getting a face-lift this week, complete with a new paint job and fresh logos.

The college’s trademark phrase, “Welcome to the Hill” is now emblazoned on the all-white tower, aimed at bringing a sense of pride to the college’s students and staff and to the City of Westminster.

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On Monday the first logo was completed and more will be coming soon, said Doug DeClerck, an independent inspector hired by McDaniel. Two sides of the water tower will feature large green and yellow M’s for McDaniel’s Green Terror athletics program.

Painter Nacho Gonzalez removes masking tape while painting McDaniel College signage on the side of the Westminster City Water Tower on McDaniel's Campus along Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
Painter Nacho Gonzalez removes masking tape while painting McDaniel College signage on the side of the Westminster City Water Tower on McDaniel's Campus along Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Dylan Slagle)

“The tower is highly visible because it sits on top of a hill and that’s what we call the college … ‘The Hill’ — that’s our pet reference to the college,” said McDaniel alumnus Lee Primm, who has helped with the project.

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Cheryl Knauer, director of public relations for McDaniel College, said the water tower project “would not have been possible without the passionate support of McDaniel and Western Maryland College alumni, especially Don Rembert, a class of 1961 alumnus of the college.”

Rembert’s idea to paint the water tower with McDaniel logos came to life due to the efforts of the WMC Heritage Society, which was formed by him and his wife, Judy, in 2004.

“This project has been a key initiative of the group,” Knauer said. “Don, Judy and the other engaged alumni associated with the WMC Society have offered support and funding that made this project a reality.”

McDaniel College signage will be painted all the way around the Westminster City Water Tower on McDaniel's Campus along Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
McDaniel College signage will be painted all the way around the Westminster City Water Tower on McDaniel's Campus along Pennsylvania Avenue Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (Dylan Slagle)

Primm said the 170-foot water tower on Pennsylvania Avenue would stand as an icon with its new paint job, and would be a great way to advertise the college.

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“You can see the logos from a great distance ... It announces that McDaniel College is an integral part of the City of Westminster,” Primm said. “When you get on campus it’s a warm, fuzzy welcome.”

DeClerck said the project began in mid-December and will be finished by mid-January, weather permitting.

“They cleaned and painted the whole outside of the tank and then started putting the logos on about a week ago … it was washed down and a couple new coats of paint were put on it,” DeClerck said.

The project will cost about $140,000, according to DeClerck.

“We look forward to the completion of the project this month and continued partnership between the college, our alumni and the City of Westminster,” Knauer said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from the McDaniel College public relations department.

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