By Jules Shane
Residents of North Park may have noticed the emergence of a new water tower, located at the intersection of Meade Avenue and Boundary Street.
However, the fixture is actually a cell phone tower. The project is joint venture between the North Park Planning Committee (NPPC) and AT&T. Modeled after the historic University Heights water tower — commonly called the North Park Water Tower — the new, 49-foot-tall faux water tower will house a cell transceiver. It is a move by the telecom company to broaden signal service throughout the area.
Spearheaded by the NPPC in 2013, the project’s recent completion was commemorated at a ribbon cutting event on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. at the intersection, which is adjacent to Interstate-805. Assemblymember Todd Gloria and District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward were among those in attendance.
AT&T announced its plans to roll out its new 5G network to select cities across the country, with San Diego scheduled to receive upgrades in early 2019.
“We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected,” said Ignacio De La Torre, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs at AT&T. “We want to provide the best possible mobile experience, and we invest in our local network to accomplish that goal.”
Public response to the project has varied, with some praising the design and others raising concerns over the amount of radiation the tower will output. Feedback from residents was an important consideration leading up to the tower’s construction, with the NPPC holding public meetings and also asking students from nearby McKinley Elementary School for feedback prior to beginning the project.
—Jules Shane is the editorial intern at San Diego Community News Network, parent company of San Diego Uptown News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.