SAN BENITO — It’s about the city’s sense of pride.

Mayor Celeste Sanchez hopes future generations of the community will take pride in San Benito’s new museum.

City leaders have waited long enough to see their dream become a reality.

It was with great enthusiasm that city and community leaders broke ground yesterday on the future home of the San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum.

“This project is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work,” Sanchez said. “It represents a dream that is finally being realized.”

The future guitar-shaped building will house the Freddy Fender Museum, the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum and the San Benito History Museum.

For more than 20 years, city leaders have planned for a museum to showcase the city’s expansive history.

The Resaca City, for example, is considered by many to be the birthplace of conjunto music.

Sanchez hopes the museum, which is smack in the middle of what she considers San Benito’s Cultural District, serves the very diverse community that is the heart of the city.

Along the way, organizers have overcome major setbacks in their project to house their diverse museums. Now, the city has broken ground on the $1.7 million project.

“Our number one goal was to have a first rate museum to showcase the best of San Benito,” Sanchez said. “It will also create a positive economic impact for the community.”

City commissioners have entered into a contract with Jones Construction of Weslaco to build the 6,932-square-foot building off Heywood Street on 2.18 acres at San Benito Plaza, near the Community Building and the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center.

To fund the project, the city will use a $1 million EDA grant and about $700,000 set aside from its general fund.

The building will allow the Freddy Fender Museum, the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum and the San Benito History Museum to expand their exhibits.

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