Arcadia Rotary Club and American Chinese Association Announce Plans to Restore Fort Rotary

Fort Rotary began construction in 2001 and took 26 months to complete. – Photo by Galen Patterson / Beacon Media News

By Galen Patterson

The Arcadia Rotary in conjunction with the Arcadia Chinese Association (ACA) has announced plans to restore Fort Rotary at Camp Trask in Monrovia.

The rehabilitation of the fort marks the first official coordinated project between the Arcadia Rotary and the ACA.

“This is a historic event,” said chairman of the project and Rotarian Bob Harbicht at a press conference on Dec. 3.

Fort Rotary is a two-story western-style Boy Scout fort in the foothills behind Monrovia.

The fort has fallen into disrepair in the years since its opening in 2003.

“We’ve been talking about doing this for two years,” said Harbicht.

“It is one of the most vital program centers we have,” said Jeff Sulzbach, Scout Executive / CEO for the greater Los Angeles area.

The fort features a several rooms inside the gate, four watch towers connected by a catwalk on the upper floor, a bb-gun and sling shot shooting ranges, climbing wall and various other activities in and around the walls.

It also contains a fully functional restroom and electrical outlets throughout the fort.

Currently the upper floor is nearly inaccessible due to damages caused by nature.

The Arcadia Rotary has brought in professionals to assess the damage done to the fort and to develop a plan to restore the fort.

Architect Kevin Le, from Le Architecture in Monrovia has already volunteered his time and conducted preliminary assessments for an estimate on the costs of repair.

Termite damage and extreme weathering have damaged the exterior, but “the bones of the fort are in pretty good shape,” said Harbicht.

Some of the existing timber on the fort’s exterior is planned to be reused and built back into the fort.

Roughly 80 per cent of the original construction of the fort was done by volunteers, “some of the work will have to be done by professionals,” said Harbicht.

The cost of the project is expected to reach up to $150,000.

Currently, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has pledged $25,000 to the project, ACA has pledged $25,000, and the Arcadia Rotary has put forth $22,000 on behalf of Mary Hansen of Arcadia.

“Children are the next generation,” Hansen told Arcadia Weekly.

ACA will be holding its Annual Fund Raising Gala on January 18, 2020 to generate funding for the project.

The gala will be at Tong Tak House Restaurant in Arcadia. Tickets to the gala range from $80 to $120 and it is open to the public.

December 5, 2019

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Galen Patterson

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