District Breaks Ground on First Internet Access Tower at PHS

District Breaks Ground on First Internet Access Tower at PHS
Posted on 02/19/2016
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Tower Installation
Pasadena ISD breaks ground on the first LTE tower at Pasadena High School. Pictured: Jose Saavedra, PHS principal; Kenny Fernandez, board member; Emory Gadd, Sagemont asst. pastor; Dr. Karen Hickman, deputy superintendent; Fred Roberts, board member; Marshall Kendrick, board secretary; Dr. DeeAnn Powell, school superintendent; and Steven Wentz, chief technology officer.


 Tower Installation
Pasadena High School Principal Joe Saavedra watches as construction begins at the campus.

Pasadena ISD broke ground on its first broadband Long-Term Evolution (LTE) tower, Feb 19. The district is now one step closer to becoming the first in Texas to provide complimentary home Internet service to students – putting access to a wireless society at their fingertips.

“I think it’s a great resource that will be beneficial for our community,” Joe Saavedra, PHS principal said. “I am grateful to work in a community and a district that creates opportunities for our students.”

To mark the special occasion – representing community support of the 2014 School Bond measure – a groundbreaking celebration was held at Pasadena High School, the first of 15 sites in the district where monopole towers will be installed to create a broadband LTE network.

The celebration welcomed members of the Pasadena ISD School Board, School Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell, technology personnel and campus administrators who watched as drilling commenced.

“Our School Board members have always been focused on meeting the needs of our students and this is one more innovative program that does just that,” Dr. Powell said. “This initiative will allow students throughout the district access to the Internet at home at no cost to them. This will give them the opportunity to complete required reading and assignments that are internet based.” 

The monopole LTE tower will be located on the west end of the campus, near Shaver St.

Once the installation is complete, the LTE tower will have about a two-mile signal radius and 30-year lifespan.

The LTE broadband system will provide high-speed wireless Internet service for students who have been issued take-home laptops through the district’s 1-to-1 technology program but do not have access to Internet service at home. The 1-to-1 program serves roughly 17,500 students in grades 5 through 10. Of those, about 3,500 students have indicated they do not have access to Internet service at home.

The towers will accommodate campus feeder patterns in the Pasadena, Houston and South Houston areas. These include Pasadena High School; Beverly Hills, the Queens area, McMasters, and Southmore Intermediate Schools; Roberts Middle School; Bush, Burnett, Freeman, Melillo, South Houston, Sparks, Turner and Young Elementary Schools; and the Transportation department.

The installation project is expected to be completed by summer 2016. 

Tower Installation
Romain Tower, Inc. begins drilling at the site.

Tower Installation
Engineers roll out the foundation for the monopole tower.

Tower Installation
Technology personnel from Romain Towers and Pasadena ISD. Pictured (from L to R): Roman Towers employees Emil Ramirez, David Roman and Mark Walker. Pasadena ISD Technology staff Steven Wentz, James O'Neill and Mark Miller.