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Texas Border Business

By Amanda L. Alaniz

Harlingen, Texas – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the City of Harlingen and Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District on Thursday, Feb. 28, announced they will build a new UTRGV/Early College High School campus in Harlingen, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to seal the deal. 

The City of Harlingen gifted 30.54 acres of vacant land to UTRGV for construction of the future campus, which will be located near the northeast corner of Camelot Drive and Hale Street.

The state-of-art facility will be from 35,000 to 40,000 square feet and will consist of classroom space and teaching labs for university and high school classes for hundreds of Early College High School students.

With this new project, ECHS students graduate high school with their academic core or are on a fast track toward careers in engineering, computer science, and teaching.

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Dr. Arturo J. Cavazos, HCISD superintendent, said the partnership between the school district and the university will bring more opportunities for students and the community.

“We live in a very complex world. We need the teachers who are going to make every profession possible to be developed in that building,” he said. “We need the engineers that are going to solve the complex problems and the computer scientists that are going to figure these problems out.”

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the City of Harlingen and Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District announced on Thursday, Feb. 28, the opening of a new UTRGV/Early College High School (ECHS) campus in Harlingen. With this new project, ECHS students graduate high school with their academic core or are on a fast track toward careers in engineering, computer science and teaching. Sitting left to right are Dr. Arturo J. Cavazos, Harlingen CISD superintendent; Greg Powers, Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees president; Dr. Guy Bailey, UTRGV president; and Dr. Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton, UTRGV executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Student Success and P-16 Integration. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the City of Harlingen and Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District announced on Thursday, Feb. 28, the opening of a new UTRGV/Early College High School (ECHS) campus in Harlingen. With this new project, ECHS students graduate high school with their academic core or are on a fast track toward careers in engineering, computer science and teaching. Sitting left to right are Dr. Arturo J. Cavazos, Harlingen CISD superintendent; Greg Powers, Harlingen CISD Board of Trustees president; Dr. Guy Bailey, UTRGV president; and Dr. Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton, UTRGV executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Student Success and P-16 Integration. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the MOU signing is an education milestone for the Valley.

“What’s happening today is the future of Texas,” Bailey said. “The partnership we have and what we’re doing moving forward as institutions, together, is where the future is.”

The campus will provide educational opportunities and community engagement for the city, initiatives that are among UTRGV’s core priorities.

Dr. Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton, UTRGV executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Student Success and P-16 Integration, said bringing to fruition an idea and a plan like this one demonstrates what is possible when groups with similar goals come together. 

“The new campus fits into our core priorities in a variety of different ways,” she said. “First, student success, community engagement, and educational access. This exemplifies what it means to be a community focused on insuring that our students and our children are getting the opportunities they need.”

The facility will offer students an authentic college learning experience and could earn them up to 60 hours of college credit under the guidance of UTRGV professors.

The expected opening date is slated for 2021.

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