A new cell tower is being proposed near Mount Gallant Elementary School in Rock Hill.
Comporium has 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-foot by 100-foot area on the northeast corner of Mount Gallant and Museum roads, near Mount Gallant Elementary School’s parking lot, said Matthew Dosch, Comporiums’s chief operating officer.
The whole compound would take up a 75-foot by 75-foot area, surrounded by trees, and would not use lights.
Dosch presented the proposal Monday to the Rock Hill school board.
“We at Comporium have identified a need, and have been working on this need for several years, to improve cellular reception in the area of Mount Gallant Road and the India Hook area,” he said.
Comporium has a cell tower in the Twin Lakes Road area of Rock Hill, another near the York County Airport and a third in the Hands Mill Highway area of Rock Hill, Dosch said.
However, Mount Gallant Elementary and the Museum of York County are so far from those towers that reception is weak, Dosch said.
“We have a hole in our reception, and the weakest possible reception in that area,” he said.
Dosch said the problem has been known for a while, and a temporary solution has been to house cellular equipment on a 59-foot telephone pole in that area.
The proposed cell tower is a more permanent solution, Dosch said.
“It would give us really strong service,” he said.
Carriers that would use the tower, which have not yet been determined, would have to meet federal guidelines, Dosch said.
Dosch said that, based on World Health Organization studies and recommendations, the cell tower’s radiation is not a safety concern. He said there is more radiation coming from distant TV and radio signals than what would come from the almost 200-foot tower.
Board member Terry Hutchinson agreed.
“You’ve got more radiation output coming out of our own toy radio systems coming out of our schools then you do coming off of that cell tower,” he said.
Comporium needs final school board approval, as well as zoning approval from the city of Rock Hill, before it can build the tower, Dosch said.
He said construction, an eight- to 10-week process, would be over the summer if the project moves forward.
Rock Hill school board Chairman Jim Vining said the board plans to discuss the project further and gain input from stakeholders near the site.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082