Monopoles and Fairfax County Public Schools
Get the facts about monopoles and Fairfax County Public Schools.
As wireless infrastructure is built-out in Fairfax County, public lands are frequently used for telecommunication facilities (monopoles). Public lands include, but are not limited to, county, school, and park properties. Wireless telecommunication facilities are also allowed by the County on some private properties.
The monopoles located on school property are currently leased to a variety of cell service providers who locate antennas on the monopoles. Many of the monopoles also carry lighting and are integrated into school playing fields.
Application and Approval Process
When a proposal for a new monopole site is brought to FCPS, staff members from the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services review the proposal with the school principal. Additional meetings are held by the principal to inform the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) of the process. The local School Board members are notified of the pending application. This process follows School Board Policy 8335 and School Board Regulation 8335.
After initial review and if FCPS deems the proposed site to be feasible, the applicant will be notified and begin the process of filing an official "2232" application with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The DPD prepares a staff report for each monopole application which is reviewed and voted on by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. A public hearing is held prior to a final decision on each application. The Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance requires special exception approval by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prior to the installation of any telecommunications monopole or tower.
Monopoles Owned by FCPS
The hosting school receives a one-time site access fee for each new cell service provider co-locating to the monopole.
FCPS receives recurring monthly rents from cell service providers. The rents are escalated annually per the terms of the respective lease agreement.
The hosting school receives 15% of the FCPS income. The remaining 85% is used by the school system to fund emergency preparation technology for the Office of Safety and Security, Department of Information Technology projects, and administrative technology devices.
Monopoles Owned by Private Telecommunications Companies
The hosting school receives a one-time fee for the initial monopole and cell service provider installation. Subsequent cell service providers co-locating to the monopole also pay a one-time site access fee to the school.
FCPS receives recurring monthly rents from the cell service providers. The rents are escalated annually per the terms of the respective lease agreement. On existing cell service provider leases, 40% of the rent is retained by FCPS and 60% is retained by the private-sector telecommunications company that owns and maintains the monopole and, manages the cell service provider leases. On cell service provider leases executed after 2012, 45% is retained by FCPS and 55% is retained by the private-sector telecommunications company.
The hosting school receives 15% of the FCPS income. The remaining 85% is used by the school system to fund emergency preparation technology for the Office of Safety and Security, Department of Information Technology, and other office technology projects.
FCPS Health and Safety Review
FCPS would not make a business decision on its Wireless Infrastructure (Monopole) program that would jeopardize the health and safety of its students, staff, or the public. This program conforms to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates cellular and personal communication service carriers and the allowable limits for frequency and electromagnetic field power. FCC guidelines are identical to those recommended by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.
The FCC is also responsible for setting standards for safe exposure to radio frequency (RF) emissions (FCC RF Safety). All applications for new sites must include data on the highest level of emissions that can result from the placement of the monopole and the respective antenna array(s). The RF emissions from cellular antennas placed on monopoles at FCPS sites have been assessed and found to be well below federal guidelines. In addition, FCPS contracts to have all sites tested periodically for RF emission levels. The most recent RF Emission Safety Summary Reports are available in the "Locations of Existing Poles" table below.
Locations of Existing Poles
A total of (30) FCPS school/admin sites host (35) monopoles. Carriers located on monopoles include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Clearwire, and DISH. Following is a listing of those sites and the initial installation year of the respective monopole(s):
|School/Center Type||Monopole Install Year(s)||Annual RF Emission Safety Summary Report *|
|Annandale High||2005||Annandale High Summary Report|
|Bryant Alternative High||2006||Bryant Alternative High Summary Report|
|Centreville High (2 Monopoles)||1998, 2009||Centreville High Summary Report|
|Chantilly High (2 Monopoles)||2000, 2009||Chantilly High Summary Report|
|Edison High||2005||Edison High Summary Report|
|Hayfield Secondary||2007||Hayfield Secondary Summary Report|
|Herndon High||2021||New Construction|
|Justice High||2015||Justice High Summary Report|
|Lake Braddock Secondary||2013||Lake Braddock Secondary Summary Report|
|Langley High (2 Monopoles)||1997, 2010||Langley High Summary Report|
|Lewis High||2010||Lewis High Summary Report|
|Madison High||2011||Currently No Carriers|
|McLean High||2006||McLean High Summary Report|
|Oakton High||2005||Oakton High Summary Report|
|Robinson Secondary||2006||Robinson Secondary Summary Report|
|South County High||2009||South County High Summary Report|
|South Lakes High (2 Monopoles)||1998, 2000||South Lakes High Summary Report|
|Thomas Jefferson HSST (2 Monopoles)||2001, 2010||Thomas Jefferson HSST Summary Report|
|Westfield High||2019||New Construction|
|Carson Middle||2010||Carson Middle Summary Report|
|Herndon Middle||2012||Herndon Middle Summary Report|
|Irving Middle||2011||Irving Middle Summary Report|
|Kilmer Middle||2015||Kilmer Middle Summary Report|
|Stone Middle||2013||Stone Middle Summary Report|
|Thoreau Middle||2011||Thoreau Middle Summary Report|
|Twain Middle||2015||Twain Middle Summary Report|
|Westgate Elementary||2000, 2015 (Replacement Monopole)||Westgate Elementary Summary Report|
|Graham Road Community Building||2013||Graham Road Community Building Summary Report|
|Lorton Center||1997||Lorton Center Summary Report|
|Woodson Yard||2007||Woodson Yard Summary Report|
* Full RF Emission Safety Reports can be provided upon request to:
Property Management Section
8115 Gatehouse Road, Suite 3400
Falls Church, Virginia 22042