CAMDEN — The Preble Shawnee Board of Education held the first of three public readings for a master marketing agreement between Preble Shawnee Local Schools and Arcadia Towers, on Thursday, May 11.
The agreement states Arcadia Towers intention to build a cell tower on “certain real estate” owned by Preble Shawnee Local Schools, which will be built behind the high school location.
“This is the agreement for the marketing to start. It doesn’t mean you’re going to see a cell tower in the next year. It just means we’re going to see what companies want to put something on the tower,” said Superintendent Todd Bowling. “For each company you get, they sign a lease, and more funding comes into the district.”
The topic surrounding Arcadia Towers has been a polarizing one for the last several board meetings, with board members and members of the public speaking for — or against — it numerous times.
“I know I have been very publicly against it,” began board member Julie Singleton, “Still in my head, morally, not for it. But, with our last discussion, knowing if we don’t do it, somebody else is going to do it very close to us. I don’t know that I have any other leg to stand on. Because it’s going to happen one way or the other. I’m just saying that publicly, that I have been against it, though my vote is going to say otherwise,” Singleton concluded.
All board members voted in favor of the marketing agreement with Arcadia Towers.
Singleton noted the Arcadia Towers contract will provide $300,000 over a 30-year period, which will be roughly under $10,000 yearly.
“It’s just additional income. We’re not able to hire more teachers or anything because of this cell tower,” Singleton added.
“So, the cell tower, is that happening?” asked resident Jenny Coleman.
“Well, yeah, that’s what we just voted on,” answered board president Jeff Wood. “And I want to remind everybody, this is kind of more where you just make a statement. This is really the work of the board, where we do our business here. The public participation portion is just for you to give us your thoughts, and feelings on things,” continued Wood.
Coleman noted her one final question on the topic was if children attending Preble Shawnee begin having symptoms induced by radiation from cell waves, are there any measures the school can take to exit the contract.
“Again, we’re not going to do this back and forth. So, I will say this one last thing. At any point if kids are sick and affected by something going on here, we’re going to do something,” Wood said.
Singleton noted, the school is, in fact, “locked into a contract” with Arcadia Towers, and would have certain restrictions due to said contract.
“Okay, I’m going to have to end participation for decorum’s sake. I appreciate your input,” concluded Wood.
Public participation was closed, receiving no further questions, and the board moved to executive session to discuss personnel items.
In other business:
•The Preble Shawnee high school graduation will be held May 19, at 7 p.m. on the football field.
•The board accepted the following donations; Kellie Elliot, donation to the Caleb and Grace Scholarship Fund; Brandy Brandenburg Memorial Golf Outing, donation to the Brandy Brandenburg Memorial Scholarship; John D. Longworth, donation to Longworth Memorial Scholarship Fund; Jamie Geise donation for Tina Fuchs-Wanner Scholarship; Lori Cottingim, Dianna Whitis, Heather Campbell, Jennifer Taulbee and Kyle Morton, donation to “Get the Health Out of Here” spring staff event to promote healthy habits.
•The board approved the renewal of the superintendent contract employing Todd Bowling.
•The board accepted the resignation of Preble Shawnee School Treasurer, Jacqueline Bolton, effective the end of business July 31.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057.