Pittsburg schools create their own network

Pittsburg Students Play After School


PITTSBURG, Ks. – The pandemic has caused a massive increase in online education across the country and the city of Pittsburg is no exception.

“When COVID hit and we were required to go home and go fully remote, we surveyed our families and found, as we suspected, that about 20% of our students indicated that they didn’t have quality high speed internet,” said USD 250 Assistant Superintendent Brad Hanson.

Plenty of Pittsburg kids may be currently back in the classroom but there’s no shortage of students learning online in Crawford County, so the school district teamed up with the city to apply for CARES Act funding to create its own online network, and they got it.

“We have a $260,000 grant available to us. The board approved it (Tuesday) night. And we’re moving forward with this build out of this LTE network,” said Hanson.

The new network will provide free online services to around 100 to 150 Pittsburg students until the grant money runs out. And it will going up soon.

The funding for the project stipulates that things need to be in place by the end of the year, so transmitter towers will soon be going up and that’s where the city of Pittsburg comes in.

“With USD 250, they have students that really need access to broadband. They don’t have a lot of facilities themselves. We do. We have tower space. We have the sites where they can put the antennas,” said Pittsburg’s Deputy City Manager Jay Byers.

And those antennas will soon be up and running on city property. They’ll be placed on top of Pittbsurg Memorial Auditorium as well as the city’s two big water towers.

Assistant Superintendent Hanson predicts the network antennas will be up and students in need will be taking home new modems some time in November.