Battle High School Would be First to Get Cell Tower

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education met Thursday morning to discuss the possible construction and implementation of the first ever cell tower at a Columbia public school. It is required by law that a tower is constructed on the grounds of Battle High School. Board members strongly agreed that the need for a tower is crucial in the area.

Columbia Public Schools has received approval from the Boone County Fire Protection District to go ahead and build the tower in order to meet code. Michelle Baumstark, community relations director for Columbia Public Schools, said cell reception and Wi-Fi access is very spotty at the high school and building a tower is more of a safety issue as well as a convenience issue.

Columbia Public Schools wants to make sure it is providing access not only to emergency personnel, but also to anybody who uses Battle High School. Baumstark said the tower would provide free Wi-Fi to families and students within a five mile radius of the school that have students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program.

The bid is still on the table and Columbia Public Schools has issued a request for a quote, but it has not yet been awarded.The board will meet to vote on the bid, but there is no projected date of the vote or the completion.

The tower will be about 300 feet tall and stand next to Battle High School on school grounds.