Antenna a good call for school

Westmoor High School may install a cell phone antenna disguised as a tree if the Jefferson Union High School District board agrees on a deal that will bring the district $2,500 in monthly revenue.

The district was approached by T-Mobile two years ago with an idea to install an antenna at Westmoor High School, a desirable location because it sits on a hill. After many changes in design, the district may finally approve the antenna in a few weeks.

T-Mobile considered putting the antenna in the middle of a hill on the school’s campus, inside several flag poles and on the high roof of the auto shop class disguised as a bell tower, but the plans would have been too intrusive to the school, according to district Superintendent Mike Crilly.

“We didn’t want a big ugly antenna on the hill,” Crilly said. “We don’t want anything on the roof because we decided to put solar power there.”

Several months ago, the company finally offered a solution that the district liked — put an antenna inside an artificial tree that would stand among existing pines and cypresses near the back of the school’s cafeteria on Edgemont Drive.

“You don’t really notice it until someone points it out to you,” the superintendent said.

The company would still need to get approval from the city and state agencies that regulate such installations, so it’s unclear when the antenna would be installed.

The antenna would bring the district $2,500 a month with a 3 percent annual increase. And, if the district approves the project before March 19, the company promised to throw in a $5,000 bonus.

<p>According to Crilly, although the money is not huge, in the times of budget cuts, every little bit helps.

“It makes sense for us — it’s clean, it’s safe, it doesn’t interfere with anything the school is doing,” Crilly said. “And if it’s going to generate some funding especially in hard times, then we’re OK with it.”

The superintendent also began discussions with the company to provide better wireless Internet access at the school, which currently has Wi-Fi only in the library and a few classrooms.

The school board will discuss installing the antenna Tuesday, and a vote on the matter is scheduled for March 18.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Advocates call for permanent moratorium on ‘poverty tows’

Ron Trathen hates change. He recalls moving around a lot as a… Continue reading

Music venue owners warn ‘hospitality and entertainment are dying’

Industry leaders plead with city, state for help

Anti-police protester sues over arrest at 2019 Pride Parade

A protester whose arrest at San Francisco’s 2019 Pride Parade intensified pressure… Continue reading

Veritas offers to forgive unpaid rent, but tenants are wary

Calls for rent forgiveness have been answered, but with some caveats. The… Continue reading

Most Read