North Hagerstown High School is the proposed location for a new 115-foot marquee-style camouflaged tower, which will improve voice and internet service in Hagerstown, MD. Each side of the three-sided tower will contain five sign panels, which will likely feature the school’s name and mascot, and the base of the tower will be fenced in to contain the ground equipment. The tower will be owned, managed, and built by Milestone Communications, which has 18 years of experience in building wireless infrastructure on or near school properties, according to Herald-Mail Media.
Transparency and community input have been critical to the project, so Milestone Communications set up a website at nhhswireless.com to explain the project’s purpose, offer residents information about wireless tower safety, allow residents to view photos of similar towers, and ask questions about the project.
Milestone President Len Forkas explained to Herald-Mail Media that schools are ideal locations for new towers, which improve service for both residents and emergency services. “They’re safe and secure, and let’s face it, students want wireless connectivity. We think it’s a real win-win,” Forkas said. Some residents, like Washington County Board of Education Member Pieter Bickford, had concerns about the tower’s visual impact on the community but are satisfied with the marquee design. “It seems like they found a good spot for it. It will benefit North High and, in my opinion, it won’t be a detriment to the neighborhood,” Bickford told Herald-Mail Media.
Project Manager Matt Penning recently invited residents to a community meeting about the project. Penning told Herald-Mail Media, “We’re certainly not trying to surprise anybody with this. We definitely want people to come to the meeting and be aware of the project.” The project has several hurdles to clear before construction can begin. After the Board of Zoning Appeals approves an application for a variance to allow the project to move forward, the school board will review a final proposal and lease from Milestone so construction permits can be filed.
February 13, 2018