Thursday, February 28, 2019
  Announcements, Community

By Amanda Alaniz

 PHOTO GALLERY by David Pike

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.

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.”
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.



The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.