Cell phone tower may be built at Whitman

Whitman Center director Sandy Kosmyna announced at the Oct. 25 MCCC Board of Trustees meeting that a new cell phone tower may be built at the Whitman Center.

“The college was contacted last spring about the feasibility of development of a  cell tower site on our property in Temperance,” said Sue Wetzel, MCCC vice president of Administration.

A cell-phone tower, also known as a “base station,” is a structure that consists of  a bevy of antennas and electronic equipment that transmit RF (radiofrequency) waves.

A new towner could make handheld devices easier for students and faculty to use at the Whitman Center.

“We have had one exploratory meeting regarding an option to lease a portion of  our property for this purpose,” Wetzel said.    

The main benefit for the students and faculty at Whitman Center would be improved efficiency of  devices like IPads, PDA’s and cell phones, such as sending text messages, surfing the internet, and making phone calls.

“It would be a positive impact on [the Whitman Center]. I’m open to the possibility,” Kosmyna said.

Despite all of the positives that a cell phone tower would bring to the Whitman Center, there could be some concerns about potential risks in the future.  

“There would be no health risks that would exist, due to the height of the tower,” Kosmyna said.

There are two other cell-phone towers located near the Whitman Center.

“With the other two towers that are around our area, there have been no negative controversies,” Kosmyna said.     

There are several things that go into building a cell phone tower. According to steelintheair.com, the average cost of a new cell phone tower is approximately $150,000.

There are four main parts that make up the structure: the tower, the equipment, the antennas, and the utilities.

The four main types of cell phone towers are lattice, monopole, guyed, and stealth towers.

The equipment required to build a new tower mainly consists of transmitters, which are installed in cabinets. The cabinets are placed on concrete pads, or on pre-manufactured equipment shelters (a more common name for this equipment is called “BTS,” or base transmitter station).

There can be anywhere from three to 18 antennas that are intertwined on any cell phone tower, depending on how many subscribers are on the carrier.

“To be clear, no decision has been made regarding whether or not property will be leased by the college for the purpose of constructing a cell phone tower on the Whitman Center property,” Wetzel said.