Dana Alum Appeals to School Board to Restore Anchor

Rory Bennett says relationship with district has become strained over the issue of moving the beloved monument.

Dana Middle School alum Rory Bennett has made a formal appeal to the board of education to restore the school's anchor monument to its original form and location on the campus' central quad.

Mounted on a pedestal designed to evoke a rough, swirling sea, the anchor was once a beloved symbol of both school pride and students' coming of age.

But Dana has undergone extensive renovations during the past year, and in June, Arcadia Unified School District officials made the decision to destroy the pedestal and re-home the anchor in a fenced area just off the reading patio of the new library.

But the anchor's new spot and mounting would make it "more of a nautical decoration than the focal point of student life," Bennett said.

Here are excerpts from her formal appeal to board members:

"You overlooked the significance of this beloved landmark to many in the extended Arcadia community. And that's not only short-sighted but shameful...You have let us down with this poor judgment."

Bennett went on to say the district's explanation for moving the anchor, that the monument impedes pedestrian access, "is unsupported by any factual data." Also, in moving the anchor, the district has put a strain on the relationship between the district and Dana alums.

"I ask you to move forward now to rebuild the Anchor Monument in its original form and location in the central quad. To direct the $25 1000 earmarked for the front wall project  to instead be used for the reconstruction of the Anchor.

By doing thisyou'll restore a beloved school landmark as the center of Dana life -­ and you'll restore your relationship with us, your extended school family that's forever connected to Arcadia.

Bennett's entire letter is attached to this article in PDF form.

Curtis December 16, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I agree with Rory's views about restoring the anchor. It was the single most unique feature of Dana. Shame on those people who carelessly voted to remove it in the name of "traffic control"? Curtis Clifford
Joe Ramsey December 23, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Not only did they "remove" it... they smashed it to bits and, unceremoniously, threw the pulverized pieces out onto the playing field. The photo of the destroyed monument was the first most of us heard about the renovation. I am 40 years (!) removed from Dana Jr. High School and the photos made me feel terrible. If the school district cares about Dana alums at all, this was a very poor way of showing it. Joseph Ramsey


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