FARGO — An artist or a team is being sought to engage the Fargo community in picking a design for artwork on a new downtown Fargo water tower.

The new tower, to be built starting next year, will replace three other towers in that area of town.

The Fargo Arts and Culture Commission, in partnership with the city's water utility department, is working on the project to create an image for the new tower.

The final design on the tower to be built near Seventh Avenue North and University Drive on the edge of downtown will be focused on the theme of "community."

"The ideal design will highlight the unity of Fargo's people and the spirit of the evolving metro area," said the call for proposals, which are due by 4 p.m. July 24.

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The artist or team selected will use a "virtual campaign" to gather input from the public on the design.

City urban development planning coordinator Maegen Elshaug said the water tower painting will be a first for the city, but not in the metro. She's been impressed with what the city of Moorhead has done with its water tower designs.

The city's "Far More" logo is on one of Fargo's towers.

"This will be a great example of public artwork on infrastructure," Elshaug said. "It's a great opportunity to beautify that part of the city."

Troy Hall, the city's water utility director, said the new tower will replace the one currently at the University Drive site as well as the towers near North Dakota State University at 14th Street North and 10th Avenue and another near Broadway in the midst of downtown.

The three will eventually be torn down and replaced with the more modern, much larger tower, Hall said, in what will be a three-year project that will be bid later this year or early next year, with work likely starting in the early spring.

Hall said Fargo city commissioners would have to approve a bid alternate for artwork on the tower.

He said it was determined a few years ago that rather than do expensive maintenance on the three current towers, it would make more sense and cost less to replace them with one bigger tower.

The tower replacement project has been delayed because of other needed work on the city's water treatment plant and other projects.

To learn more or submit an application for the artwork project, interested bidders can find the Call for Artists at https://fargond.gov/work/bids-rfqs-rfps