June 27, 2016

Partly sunny

Medina school board OKs lease for cell tower at Claggett Middle School

The Medina Board of Education on Monday approved a lease for a 100-foot-high cell tower next to Memorial Soccer Stadium at Claggett Middle School.

TowerCo, a North Carolina-based cellphone tower company, wants to build a “monopole” tower and a shelter to house Verizon cellular service equipment.

Jon Burkhart, Medina Schools’ director of business affairs, said the district would receive a one-time payment of $122,000 for 10-year lease.

Burkhart said no decision has been made about how to use the money.

“It hasn’t been identified to be used for any purpose whatsoever at this point,” Burkhart said.

If the school district needs to use the land after the initial 10-year lease is up, Ohio law provides that the contract could be terminated and the tower could come down, Burkhart said.

The tower would be built next to Memorial Stadium at the corner of East Union and North Jefferson streets.

“We’re replacing one of the light poles,” said Jason Woodward, director of business development for TowerCo.

The company also will tear down the concession stand and build a new structure that will, on one side, store equipment for TowerCo, and on the other store equipment for the district’s track and field teams.

“It’s going to mirror the look of all the other buildings, so it will look a little bit nicer,” Woodward said. “So the school is getting a brand-new building. We haven’t finalized the design.”

The tower project next will go before Medina City Council for zoning approval in October. It also needs approval from other agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.

TowerCo also needs to conduct a safety test to make sure the radio frequency emissions stay within the required parameter.

Woodward said he hopes to be able to start the 1½-month construction process for the tower by March or April.

Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or kanderson@medina-gazette.com.

Katie Anderson About Katie Anderson

Katie Anderson covers Medina County government and the city of Wadsworth. She has been with The Gazette since July 2014. Contact her at (330) 721-4012 or via email at kanderson@medina-gazette.com.