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County Approves WAHS Cell Tower

Julianne Kirby, Assistant News Editor

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It is generally understood that cellular service at Western is horrible. Most students know a few spots in the building where they can catch a bar or two, but communicating with anyone outside of the school can be a significant challenge even within these pockets of cellular relief. However, the county is currently in the process of changing that by planning to build a cell tower on school grounds to serve Western and the surrounding Crozet community.

The tower will be 135 feet tall and located behind the football field. The construction of the cell tower was approved in 2016, and permission to begin the process of construction was given this August, according to the Daily Progress.

Kenton Showers, the Information Technology guy of Western in all practical terms, explained his views on the tower. “I think the point of it is to get service to people, a lot of people, in the area who can’t get it,” Showers said. “I don’t know if it’s going to benefit technology at school as much as it will benefit the area,” he added.

Students generally hold a different opinion on the significance of the cell tower. Quinn Loftus, a sophomore, is a member of the WAHS Squad and has a passion for technology and its integration at Western. She thinks that the cell tower could be advantageous to the school. “If you look at the way we’re continuing and how technology is being brought into Western, there is a push and a need for a better response from cellular data and wireless connection,” Loftus said.

She also added that a new tower may make the school more safe. “Cell reception is really good in certain cases because people have extracurricular activities within the school – it’s kind of dangerous if they’re by themselves and they don’t have a way to contact people,” she said. “It’s pretty hard for me to find actual service; sometimes when I have to get picked up after school, it’s kind of concerning because I can’t contact my parents.”

Other students echoed this idea of need for better reception.    “If our computers continue to be bad, our phones will still be very useful,” sophomore Ineke La Fleur said. “I’m looking forward to better cell reception.”

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