After 82 years standing atop Mount Oread, Kansas University's radio tower is coming down.
Slammed by debris in last week's storm, the tower that broadcast the university's first radio station has been deemed too old to try to fix and keep standing.
Crews climbed to its peak Tuesday afternoon, carefully disassembling the structure.
They worked as U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., toured the storm damage at KU and spoke with reporters.
Ryun said he wasn't sure what the federal government could do specifically for KU, and that he would have to wait and see what develops.
KU leaders have said they are filing insurance claims and looking for state, federal and private aid to assist with the cleanup, which is expected to cost at least $6 million.
"There's not much I can do at this point," Ryun said. "It really comes down to the state first."
The student-run radio station KJHK, which had a cable on the radio tower, is off the air temporarily, and its cable will be moved to a tower on KU's west campus.
"We wanted to be on a newer tower, and this kind of accelerates the process," said Andrew Dierks, KJHK's general manager.
The station will begin broadcasting on its Web site, www.kjhk.org, by March 27 and hopes to be back on the radio at 90.7 FM later that week.
Jim Modig, KU director of design and construction management, compared the tower to an old car whose owners realize that it would cost more to repair than it's worth.
Several of the tower's supports were either bent or broken by falling debris in the storm, Modig said. He said the tower's structural integrity would be questionable if it were to continue standing. Work on the tower continues today.
Disassembling the structure will cost about $25,000.
Dierks called the tower an eyesore and said the station was happy to be moving to a new one. KJHK's cable will be higher on the new tower, which should give the station greater reach to the west, Dierks said.
March 12, 2006, Storm
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