South Putnam school officials had no problem communicating their need for a tower to be built next to the corporation headquarters when they addressed the Greencastle Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday night.
Supt. Bruce Bernhardt told the board he hopes the 160-foot communication tower will be constructed within the month. Other towers are scheduled to be built beginning next week near Reelsville Elementary, Fillmore Elementary and South Putnam High School.
Representing the school corporation, attorney John Zeiner told the board the towers will provide a means for better voice communication between the various buildings in the South Putnam School Corporation and a means by which high-speed Internet connection can be provided to benefit students and teachers.
Members of the BZA voted unanimously to approve four separate requests by the school corporation for the tower. They include: allowing the tower to be built in an agricultural district and development standards variances for various setback lines.
The property on which the tower will be built, next to the corporation headquarters building on U.S. 231, is small enough that the normal setback lines required for a tower of this type cannot be followed.
Namely, the city's ordinance requires the tower to be back from the property line the same distance as the tower's height, plus 10 feet.
City Planner Shannon Norman said that even though the setback lines will be considerably less for this project, she doesn't feel there is any danger posed by the tower in its proposed location next to the administration building.
Additionally, the freestanding tower will not need to be lighted at night, based on FAA standards.
School officials have been formulating ideas for these towers since 2002, Mike Gibson told the board.
The Greencastle BZA meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month, at city hall.