Construction on a new radio tower for Good Shepherd Radio, KNNA(LP), in Lincoln, Neb., which is associated with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, to broadcast its low-power FM radio station was recently approved. Low-power stations have been popping up all over the country recently, but what makes this unique is that the new tower will come in the form of a 95-foot tall cross.
Good Shepherd Radio President, Nik Sandman, explained that the cross shape was not the first design for the tower. The station considered both a guide and lattice tower, but neither design went with the architecture of the church. So, ADA, an architecture firm in Lincoln, developed the cross design to better match the aesthetic of the church. In fact, the tower is designed as the same form of the cross on the church’s steeple.
“We’re Lutherans, and Lutherans have a very small presence on the radio,” said Sandman. “I had envisioned [KNNA] as a community radio station,” which was one of the factors in going with the cross-shaped tower.
“In my 10 years of doing this work, this is the first cross tower that I’ve come across,” said Danny Langston, chief consultant for Sterling Communications, who served as the technical consultant for KNNA. “There are some cross structures that are tall, but not technically ones that are used for antennas for a tower.”
Despite its uniqueness, KNNA’s tower will function like any other tower, according to Langston. Sandman, meanwhile, says that the tower will reach around 137,000 people at 60 dBs, and as many as 279,000 at 40 dBs.
The final approval for the tower came after a compromise with the city council to plant blue spruce, maple and evergreen trees adjacent to the tower to improve the aesthetics for the community. The tower is expected to be finished in September.