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

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read