Kent’s West Hill water tower to get mural with trees, Mount Rainier

The look of the 16-story reservoir under construction on Kent’s West Hill will change a lot this summer when the tower gets its mural.

Trees with Mount Rainier in the background will decorate the large walls that people who live and work in the neighborhood will see as well as those who drive by along Military Road South or South 248th Street. The mural is scheduled to be painted this summer and the reservoir to become operational in the fall, said Drew Holcomb, city Public Works Department design engineer, in an email.

“I think it’s a fantastic design,” said Kent City Councilmember Marli Larimer after a report by Holcomb about the mural at an April 4 Public Works Committee meeting.

A city selection committee composed of representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Parks Department, Public Works Department and the Economic and Community Development Department chose the mural.

“The city solicited mural artists through an RFP (request for proposal) and the selection committee selected Rolf Goetzinger based on his proposal,” Holcomb said. “He submitted three pieces and the selection committee worked with him to select his 360 rendering.”

Goetzinger, who lives near Spokane, is part of with his brother Peter Goetzinger, who lives near Sandpoint, Idaho. The artists have painted water tower murals in several states, including Washington locations in Federal Way, Puyallup, Silverdale, Bothell, Toledo and other sites. They also have painted many other public murals.

Rolf Goetzinger will receive $75,638 for the mural, Holcomb said. He was hired by Anacortes-based T Bailey Inc., which the city awarded an $8.5 million bid to build the reservoir. Construction started in March 2021. The project will be paid for from the city’s water utility fund, covered by ratepayer fees.

The permit issued by the city required the mural to have neutral landscape colors. Holcomb said the rendering received positive reviews from the West Hill Neighborhood Council and the Kent Arts Commission.

Holcomb said the artist told him the mural will blend in with the sky most days but will stand out when the sky is blue.

The reservoir is at a former small city park (Kronisch Park) at 24731 38th Ave. S., near Military Road South. Several large trees were removed to make room for the tower. The city closed a pedestrian path on the south side of tank site during construction. The Public Works Department will reopen the path when construction is complete.

The reservoir will provide the water storage necessary for fire services and to meet the growth needs of the area over the next couple of decades, according to the Public Works Department. It addresses a water storage deficiency on the West Hill to ensure that businesses and residents have adequate water supply during peak usage times and that there is sufficient water available to fight fires.

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Article Source: Kent Reporter