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Town and gown at its best; Appalachian and Town of Boone celebrate joint partnership

Chancellor Peacock and Mayor Clawson.jpgBOONE—Appalachian State University and the Town of Boone are now joined at the pipe – the water pipe that is.

University and town officials officially dedicated a water interconnect system during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The interconnect, located near the entrance to campus, means the town and university can obtain water from each other’s water treatment plant should either system fail, or during times of drought.

Chancellor Peacock and Mayor Clawson.jpgAppalachian State University Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock and Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson stand at the main valve of an interconnect between the university’s and town’s water systems. The connection will allow the town and university to tap into each other’s water supply during emergencies, such as drought. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Marie Freeman)

“This is an example of what can be accomplished when partnerships are able to leverage resources to accomplish common goals,” said Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson. “This will provide the public with a mutual benefit in times of emergency use. It is my hope the town and university will continue to leverage our resources to achieve common goals.”

The interconnect system was designed by the Wooten Company of Hickory and constructed by Iron Mountain Contractors of Mountain City, Tenn. The university and town split the cost of the $310,393 system, with assistance from the N.C. General Assembly through grants awarded by the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center. It is capable of transferring 1,000 gallons a minute between the two systems.

“This partnership symbolizes the town’s and university’s leadership working together to improve the quality of life of all the people in this region, on campus and in the community,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. “We will continue to work together to make the quality of life in Boone and at Appalachian the best it can possibly be.”

Appalachian owns and operates a 360-million-gallon reservoir off Rainbow Trail Road. Its water plant, upgraded in 2006 to a state-of-the-art micro filtration plant, is capable of producing two million gallons of treated water drawn from the reservoir. Finished water from the plant is stored in two tanks: a one million gallon tank next to the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, and a 500,000 gallon tank near Howard Knob. The average daily water consumption at the university is 400,000 gallons per day.