By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Cranes were hard at work in the center of Shrewsbury on Jan. 20 when the steeple of the First Congregational Church, located at 19 Church Rd., was temporarily removed for cell antenna maintenance.
First Congregational Church member Kathleen Rocheleau didn’t want the community to become alarmed. She noted in an email to the Community Advocate that the steeple will be sitting in the parking lot for a couple of days while maintenance takes place.
The church is home to antennas from the four major cell carriers: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. As such, housing them in their steeple is a significant source of income for the church.
The church’s Building & Grounds Committee was contacted to find out more about the project.
“We are removing the steeple temporarily in order for Sprint to install updated cell tower equipment for better service to the surrounding areas. They will be starting today and hope to have it completed by Friday of this week,” explained John Ambra, chair of church’s Building & Grounds Committee, also via email.
Chris Williams, committee co-chair was on-site as the steeple was removed. He said that the plans for the project had been in the works for a very long time. In addition to the antenna replacement, the project also involved replacing amplifiers. He also said that the project should be completed by the end of the week.