A view from above

New water tower owner Max Grundy got his first look inside the tank, courtesy of a worker who scaled the 120-foot tower. The plan is to convert the abandoned water tower into a high-rise Airbnb.

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December 1, 2022 - 2:40 PM

A worker scaled Max Grundy’s 120-foot water tower on North Elm Street Wednesday, affording him the opportunity to snap this majestic view of west Iola, including Iola High School, the IHS tennis courts and the Hawley Honey building.

Max Grundy reported “nothing but good news” after getting his first look inside the Elm Street Water tower Wednesday.

“We were able to get to the top to see the inside of the tank,” Grundy told the Register. “And by ‘we’ I mean somebody much braver than me.”

Kurt Jackson of KJ Electric scaled the 120-foot tower to inspect the interior of the tank, taking scores of photos to help determine the tower’s structural integrity.

Uncertain of what to expect, Grundy was pleasantly surprised to see the tank in good shape — and empty.

Grundy acquired the abandoned tower in November with the intention of turning it into a one-of-a-kind high-rise Airbnb, complete with observation deck.

Nothing from Wednesday’s viewing has given Grundy pause, he said.

Under terms of the contract with the city, Grundy has five years to complete his project, although he’s hopeful he can do it more quickly.

Kurt Jackson atop the tower. Courtesy photo
A view of the inside of the tower’s tank. Courtesy photo
A worker scaled Max Grundy’s 120-foot water tower on North Elm Street Wednesday, affording him the opportunity to snap this majestic view of southwest Iola, including Iola Middle and High Schools and the Hawley Honey building. Courtesy photo
3 photos

The first step, occurring almost immediately, is getting electric service to the tower.

While atop the tower, Jackson snapped several photos of the surrounding landscape to give a glimpse of what occupants can expect if and when the Airbnb opens.

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