ARLINGTON — Before Highland Christian School could start the first day of school for the 2013-14 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 4, which is also its first day of school at its new Arlington and Marysville locations, it had to move the last of its gear out of its former location at the old Arlington High School building on French Avenue.
To that end, the front steps and lawn of the old Arlington High School building became a sprawl of old books, clothes, furniture, office supplies and anything else that couldn't make the move to the two new temporary homes for Highland Christian School, as part of a six-hour garage sale on Saturday, Aug. 24, during which shoppers could also duck their heads inside the building to browse through computer equipment and other technology that garage sale organizers preferred not to expose to the elements.
That foresight wound up saving the electronics indoors from the same fate that befell the boxes of used goods outdoors, when rainfall rendered many of those items unsellable.
"All the clothing was still okay, so everything of the clothes that we didn't sell that day, we were still able to donate to Helping Hands of Arlington," said Julie Kirschenbaum, a parent and volunteer with Highland Christian School, who hawked the school's wares to any and all passersby within earshot of its sidewalks that day. "All the books that got rained on had to go to the dump, though."
In spite of this loss, Highland Christian School Board member Steve Cloutier deemed the garage sale a better success than they could have hoped for, and echoed Kirschenbaum's thanks to Helping Hands for their assistance.
"It exceeded our expectations, and we appreciate the financial assistance of the community in helping us get so much done in just one day," said Cloutier, who estimated that the garage sale raised more than $1,000, while Kirschenbaum suspected it could have generated as much as $1,300, all of which went toward helping Highland Christian School cover the costs of its move. "We had to be out of the old building by Aug. 31, which was one reason why this was so necessary. The Arlington School District struggled with the feasibility of an earthquake-ready retrofit for the upper floors that we occupied, but in the end, they just couldn't make it work."
Cloutier nonetheless expressed his gratitude not only to the Arlington School District, but also to the Arlington Assembly of God Church, which stepped up to offer its facilities for Highland Christian School's K-5 students, and the Cascade Christian Reformed Church of Marysville, which did the same for the school's grades 6-12.
"These are great new facilities for our students," Cloutier said. "They're only temporary, until we can hopefully find a new home for all of our students at one site, but they're still really good facilities. I can't say enough about how the whole community has stepped up to help us out throughout our relocation. Dozens of people who aren't even connected to the school in any way have shown up to lend a hand for our moves and haul stuff off for us."
Kirschenbaum added that fellow Christian schools from around the area took the time to stop by and add to Highland Christian School's coffers through their purchases, with the Monroe Christian School augmenting the expansion of its library by buying a number of Highland Christian School's books.