A new cell tower may soon be built near Mount Gallant Elementary School in Rock Hill.
Rock Hill school board on Monday approved a land-use agreement with Comporium to build a cell tower on the school property.
Comporium still needs approval from the city of Rock Hill, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission to install the tower, said Matthew Dosch, Comporiums’s chief operating officer.
Comporium filed for FAA approval in December and anticipates the process wrapping up in April or May, Dosch said. He said Comporium will then seek zoning approval from the city of Rock Hill, a process that should end about the time as the school year.
If approved, construction would begin in summer.
“We’re excited the school district saw the benefit, and we’re going forward together,” Dosch said.
In October, Comporium proposed leasing a quarter of an acre from the Rock Hill school district to install a 190-foot cell tower.
The tower would sit in a 100-by-100 foot area on the northeast corner of Mount Gallant and Museum roads, near Mount Gallant Elementary School’s parking lot, Dosch said.
Comporium has a cell tower in the Twin Lakes Road area of Rock Hill, another near York County Airport and a third in the Hands Mill Highway area of Rock Hill, Dosch said. Mount Gallant and Museums of York County are too far from those towers and reception is weak, Dosch said.
“We at Comporium have identified a need and have been working on this for several years to improve cellular reception in the area of Mount Gallant Road and the India Hook area,” he said in October. “It would give us really strong service.”
Carriers using the tower, which have not yet been determined, would have to meet federal guidelines, Dosch said.
Comporium addressed parent concerns at several community meetings.
Mount Gallant faculty, district administrators, school board members and members of the Mount Gallant parent and teacher organization attended an Oct. 17 meeting at the school.
No one attended the Oct. 24 meeting at Dutchman Creek Middle School, also near the site, said Tony Cox, deputy superintendent for Rock Hill schools. More than 3,000 invitations were sent out for that meeting.
Comporium officials addressed safety and concerns about radiation from the tower. The World Health Organization states research shows people absorb more radiation from radio and television signals than they do from base stations, such as cell towers.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082