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Continuing a tradition that began last year, the Olde Town water tower will bear the colors of seven local high schools on different dates in May to honor each of the school’s graduating senior classes.

The water tower will feature the colors of Arvada High School May 7, Two Roads Charter School May 8, Arvada West High School May 14, Faith Christian Academy May 15, Pomona High School May 21, The Early College of Arvada May 22 and Ralston Valley High School May 28. The water tower will be lit at sunset and display the school’s colors until sunrise, with time varying by day.

The water tower’s lighting system was updated to a computerized LED program in 2018, which allows for the city’s facilities team to easily switch colors in celebration of different events, according to Arvada Chief Communications Manager Ben Irwin.

In the past the water tower has been lit red to honor first responders, purple to mark a year of the COVID-19 pandemic and rainbow to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June.

Irwin said that the idea to honor graduating seniors in a similar fashion came about last year, when the Coronavirus pandemic put many in-person graduation events on hold.

“Last year when a lot of the major graduation events were starting to get postponed,” said Irwin, “a lot of people were looking for ways to support our graduating seniors and try in whatever way possible to make that a special time, even if it’s not what everyone hoped it would be.

“We got a request from city council,” Irwin continued, “asking for anything the city could do to honor the seniors, so our team did some brainstorming and our communication team decided to change the water tower lighting on specific days for the school colors.”

Irwin added that the city’s facilities team now has experience with using the LED program’s color codes which allows them to more easily discern which shades will look best on the display. The team tests each color scheme in the morning to ensure that the display is working properly.

Arvada Mayor Pro Tem Dot Miller said the color schemes has been well received by seniors and their families and gives graduates a unique local experience to remember.

“I think they love it,” said Miller. “What makes it unique is it stands so high and can be seen from so far. I’ve seen senior pictures with the water tower, I’ve seen campaign pictures with the water tower behind it, professional business shots with the water tower in the background.

“The city is so proud of our graduating seniors,” Miller continued, “I hope that lighting up the water tower for them shows them how much we really do care.”