BROWNSVILLE - Nearly two years after breaking ground, U.S. Border Patrol agents are completing their move to the newly constructed Border Patrol Brownsville station on FM 511.
The station is about a mile from the FM 511 and FM 803 intersection and sits on approximately 51 acres of land, about a block away from the Cameron County Sheriff's Department.
"It's a beautiful building, and they finally have the room that they needed at the Border Patrol station," said agent Dan Doty, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Although the location is somewhat isolated from the rest of Brownsville, it's just a matter of time before development engulfs the area. A few miles away from the station is a new Los Fresnos elementary school, which is set to open this year.
The Brownsville station has 209 agents assigned there, and that number is expected to increase by the end of the year as the agency hires more agents for the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector.
The Brownsville agents began moving into the 54,472-square-foot facility on July 18 and mostly completed the move by July 21, Doty said.
The pace of the move quickened as the agency was also preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Dolly.
"They actually moved in prior to the hurricane hitting land," Doty said.
The agents at this station are responsible for 86.7 square miles and 23.02 river miles, according to information previously provided by the Border Patrol.
A few pieces of equipment remain at the old station on Central Boulevard. The entire move should be completed by September, in which the agency then plans to hold a media tour at the new facility.
The agents at the station have commented on the increased space they now have and the location, which makes it less of a drive for those agents who live in Harlingen but work in Brownsville, Doty said.
For the past 10 years, the agents had been working out of the facility on Central Boulevard, which many years ago housed the old Gibson discount store.
When the agents moved to the Central Boulevard location, it was to be a temporary move, according to Brownsville Herald archives. The federal agency had leased the building.
The Brownsville station is one of newest to open in the Rio Grande Valley in recent years. The Edinburg station opened approximately two years ago off Highway 281.
A new McAllen station is under construction on West Military Highway. That 74,000-square-foot building is expected to open in January.
There are nine stations in the Valley sector that cover approximately 17,000 square miles.