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Creston School officials get an earful on proposed wireless tower

July 21, 2018

Things got heated at Thursday evening’s meeting at Creston School regarding a wireless internet tower proposed for the area. About two dozen Creston-area residents attended and many shared their feelings about the tower.

The school and MontanaSky Network are planning on installing a 118-foot-tall green mono-pole at 131 Creston Road, a short distance past the school. The district received the property in 1994 from the family of deceased Kalispell residents Dr. Eaner P. Higgins and Etta B. Higgins.

The approximately 100 students in kindergarten through sixth grade that attend the school, each have iPads they use for instruction.

School officials said the bandwidth that is available through the school’s current wireless setup is not adequate to properly run the devices.

“I’ve been here for 15 years, including the first 12 as a teacher here, and we’ve seen the student enrollment increase from 69 to 102 this past school year,” Principal Tami Ward said. “And the need for technology has really increased in that time, too.

“Our goal is to provide a 21st century education to our kids to prepare them for the future.”

Ward said the school currently pays 300,000 to 150,000 and 1,000 and 1,700 in monthly rent :- a total of $20,400 annually.

Currently, a Verizon cellular tower is located at Memorial Field in Whitefish, which is in the vicinity of Whitefish High School.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at (406) 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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