Students and staff admired the beauty of the UTRGV Harlingen Collegiate High School as they walked into the new campus for the first time.
“I was in awe; my jaw just dropped looking at everything,” English teacher Joseph Euresti said. “I am excited to have the students get invested and use all the resources that the school has to offer.”
The new school building features modern and specialized classrooms.
“We have three classrooms for the engineering pathway,” Principal Dr. Pamela Flores said. “Two of them are labs, and one of them is just a huge workspace with a robotic arm and all kinds of state-of-the-art equipment. Our computer science lab is also very amazing. We also have teacher aspiring classrooms, a place to be able to teach engaging lessons that has an observation type of setting.”
As students were dropped off at the front of the school on the first day, they were greeted by staff, peers, their school mascot, and the sound of drumline cadences.
“Compared to the other campus, it’s ginormous,” sophomore Reynaldo Renteria said. “I can’t wait to see all the classrooms, the new opportunities, and everything that we are going to go do.”
Freshman brothers Zachary Lopez and Cody Lopez were impressed the moment they set foot inside the building.
“I was shocked with just pure amazement,” Zachary Lopez said. “I mean the place is beautiful, it’s nothing like I expected. I saw pictures, but it’s so much better in person.”
The brothers found a table and sat, taking in the scene around them.
“I am really excited to start high school here,” Cody Lopez said. “I can’t wait to see the new classrooms and the library and just to see the whole building in general, all the new stuff they’ve added.”
While they waited for school to start, some students sat and chatted with friends while others went to grab breakfast or walked around trying to find their classes.
“They announced this school our freshman year, so we have been waiting since then,” senior Briana Valles said.
Before they began their day, students were welcomed with congratulatory and inspiring messages.
UTRGV Harlingen Collegiate High Principal Dr. Pamela Flores was the first to speak.
“Welcome to the hallways of Harlingen Collegiate High,” Dr. Flores said. “This is a wonderful opportunity. We are thankful to our partners that have walked with us side by side to reach this goal, and we are excited because this campus will also be open to the community so they can take classes here in the evenings.”
Board President Gerry Fleuriet congratulated the inaugural class of Harlingen Collegiate High.
“Every several decades, something magnificent happens,” Fleuriet said. “And in our town, at this moment, in this decade, it is right here. So, congratulations. You are the inaugurating class of Harlingen Collegiate High and that is super special. We could not be prouder to share this day with you.”
Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola challenged the students to reach for the stars and be the best they could be.
“As beautiful as this place is, more important is what happens in the facility,” Dr. Noyola said. “More important is what every single one of you does day in and day out to give yourself the best possible opportunities, the best possible education. I wish you the very best future as you begin your career at Harlingen Collegiate High.”
UTRGV Director of Special Programs, Michael Aldape shared his gratitude for the partnership between UTRGV and HCISD.
“We are just so grateful for the opportunity to partner with your school district,” Aldape said. “We are so honored to be a part of your journey.”
After the speeches, the first day at the new school officially began with students touring the campus.