With just over a month until the estimated completion date, contractors for the new Rushford-Peterson School are hard at work. Last week, they received help from community volunteers and students, who began the huge task of moving materials from the old school site to the new building.

Over 30 student volunteers joined school staff, faculty members and adult volunteers to transport and unload loaded pallet after pallet on a series of blazing hot summer days.

Community Education director Lisa Lawston has spent the past school year balancing her responsibilities between her position as Community Education director and planning for the move. In September, Lawston began talking with teachers about the best methods to purge and repurpose items, then to transfer the necessary materials from one site to another.

Lawston also spent much of the past year collecting boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and other necessary equipment that would aid in the moving process. By mid-June Lawston, with the help of several student volunteers, began packing boxes and stacking them on pallets donated by local businesses, such as Farmer’s Cooperative Elevator.

“We had some great kids that came in,” said Lawston. Students who were interested in community service hours or hours for the school’s Silver Cord program were among the first to sign up.

Lawston, as well as Superintendent Chuck Ehler, cited the great work and initiative provided by custodian Diane Johnson and the rest of the custodial staff.

“I met with them daily and gained their insight,” said Lawston. “It wasn’t just my ideas.”

Lawston brought some valuable experience to the move. Eleven years ago she helped move the Rochester Target Store to the Super Target on 41st Street.

“From an organizational standpoint I was super pleased. It exceeded my expectations,” said Ehler.

For the most part, the move went off without a hitch. In fact, things went so well Ehler says they’re actually a little ahead of schedule. He noted the next big step will be receiving and installing the furniture for the classrooms, which is scheduled for July 17 to 28.

Lawston and Ehler anticipate faculty should be able to begin unloading in their classrooms shortly after.

“We know that they are anxious and excited for it, so we want to be as respectful as we can,” said Ehler.

Lawston added that the administration also wants the teachers to enjoy their summer and to truly have the time off that they are allotted.

Once Aug. 1 rolls around, teachers may return a little early to start unpacking. The school is planning their open house for Aug. 19, a date that also marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 Rushford flood.

“It’s pretty ironic, isn’t it? That we could show our community that (end result of the) recovery process,” said Ehler. “It really is remarkable when you stop and think about the progress that has been made in the last 10 years.”

For those interested in volunteering, upcoming events will be devoted to assembling furniture and constructing the playground. For more information visit r-pschools.com website or contact Ehler or Lawston by phone.