Lowell Elementary School will host a dedication ceremony later this month to formally unveil Mr. Dahl Drive.
Former principal Bob Dahl passed away on March 18, 2012, at the age of 58 after he was hospitalized following a diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease in which the lungs develop scar tissue of unknown causes, according to Tacoma Public Schools officials. Dahl began working for the school district in 1983 when he was hired as a fifth-grade teacher at Oakland Elementary. He also taught at DeLong Elementary School as a fifth-grade teacher from 1987 to 1994. He worked as an administrative assistant at Reed Elementary School from 1994 to 1995, and served as principal of Stanley Elementary School from 1995 to 1997. He began as principal of Lowell in 1997.
In January, a group of students submitted a request to City Hall to rename the 800 Block of North 13th Street, which runs from North Yakima Avenue to the school’s playground, “Mr. Dahl Drive.” The request worked its way through Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and a series of public hearings before it was approved by Tacoma City Council in June. According to city staff, more than 160 comments were received at City Hall. The response was overwhelmingly in support of the name change.
The dedication ceremony to celebrate renaming 810 North 13th Street to 810 Mr. Dahl Drive will be held on Mon., Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. outside Lowell Elementary School. More information is available online here.
To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Mr. Dahl Drivenomination, click on the following links:
- Tacoma City Council approves Mr. Dahl Drive (Tacoma Daily Index, June 26, 2013)
- Tacoma City Council vote Tuesday on proposed Mr. Dahl Drive (Tacoma Daily Index, June 21, 2013)
- Public hearings Wednesday for 2 historic buildings, Mr. Dahl Drive nominations (Tacoma Daily Index, April 8, 2013)
- Plan moves forward to rename street to honor late Tacoma principal (Tacoma Daily Index, March 12, 2013)
- Tacoma street could be renamed to honor Lowell Elementary School principal (Tacoma Daily Index, February 25, 2013)
Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.