Bexley City Schools has found another way to generate revenue.

Bexley City Schools has found another way to generate revenue.

The board of education recently agreed to a five-year lease with New Cingular Wireless.

District director of operations Barry Zwick gave a brief update on the contract at the September board meeting. He said a new cell tower would be erected on the northwest corner of the high school football field where a light pole is currently located.

Zwick said Cingular is paying for the tower. The project also will entail putting up a new set of bleachers to house the wireless equipment. Cingular has agreed to purchase the bleachers, Zwick said, and there is room for additional storage.

The five-year lease could be renewed five times, for a total of 30 years, Zwick said.

The rent will increase 4 percent a year through the 30-year contract period, he said.

Cingular has agreed to give the school district $30,000 for the first year's rent. After the first year, the company will pay monthly rent.

The cellular company also will give the school district $118,565 up front, which includes roughly $88,000 for bleacher construction plus some additional money for the district's permanent improvement fund, Zwick said. Rent money also will be directed to the fund.

"This is a pretty good deal for the school system," he said. "We have some money we can put in our permanent improvement fund."

The district earns $46,000 a year from two companies that use an existing cell tower at the Cassingham Complex site, Zwick said earlier. That money is used for upkeep of the athletics field.

Zwick said the school district is receiving another $5,800 as part of the Cingular project to redo the parking lot, where the company will be digging a trench to install both telephone lines and electricity for the tower. As part of the company's agreement with the school district, Cingular promised to repair any damage to the parking lot.

Damage to the parking lot should be minimal, but district officials are requiring a larger repair so the trench won't be visible, Zwick said. Because the school district repaved and striped the blacktop in 2007, school officials want the parking lot resurfaced, he added.

"Whatever they disturb will be replaced," he said.

At the school board meeting, board member Joan Fishel asked about the feasibility of subleasing space on the tower to other cellular companies. Zwick said there is room for two additional antennas to be hung on the tower. The school district could receive 25 percent of the profits from any co-location, Zwick has said.

"This is valuable property, that is why we did so well with negotiations," Zwick said.

Other companies expressed interest in the site, but weren't willing to meet the school district's demands, treasurer Chris Essman said.