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One year after voters passed the $98.6 million bond initiative, Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District commenced its first bond project at Lee Means Elementary installing new playground equipment, and finalized a contract for its first new facility project, the relocation of Memorial Middle School.

HCISD broke ground for its bond projects with some slides and a swing set. Next week, the district will commence construction on the relocation of Memorial Middle School.

“I am thrilled to see how the hard work of our planning committees and administration came to fruition,” Board President Gerry Fleuriet said. “These playgrounds are just the beginning of many new, exciting projects that are sure to enhance enrichment and instruction for all of our students.”

The playground equipment at Lee Means is the first of five playground projects funded through bond funds. The five playground projects, costing $269,247, came through a San Antonio company, Park Place Recreation Design, Inc. The company is currently installing equipment at Crockett Elementary, before moving onto Ben Milam, Zavala and Wilson elementary schools.

The first facility project funded with bond money, the relocation of Memorial Middle School, will commence on May 23. The board approved the contract with Descon Construction of McAllen earlier this month, the first construction project tied to the bond program. The $15 million new school will be located on Rio Hondo Road near the intersection of Morgan Boulevard.

“These projects are signs of positive, effective change going on in this district,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores said. “It is proof that the momentum from the passage of last year’s bond will generate projects that will provide our community with buildings that we can all take great pride in while maximizing learning opportunities for our students. This is an exciting time to be a part of HCISD.”

The relocation of Memorial Middle School will alleviate traffic congestion on 13th Street, where the current campus shares the neighborhood with Vernon Middle School and Austin Elementary. HCISD will repurpose Memorial Middle School to consolidate administrative offices.

The new Memorial Middle School is scheduled to be complete in July 2012 and to open in September 2012.

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