Old buildings come down

HARLINGEN — Out with the old, in with the new.

It’s a worn out catch phrase, but it nevertheless rings true for the demolition of four school district buildings on Harrison Avenue. The structures, which once housed the school board meeting, special education departments and other offices, are being cleared out, said Oscar Tapia, assistant superintendent for district operations for the Harlingen school district.

Demolition work began last week and will continue for three more weeks.

The board meeting room, the superintendent’s office, special education and federal programs departments were moved to other locations several years ago. The buildings they left behind had outlived their purpose.

“Those buildings were vacated,” Tapia said. “The district did not want to invest anymore monies in those buildings.”

Evidence of the demolition is most clear at the corner of Harrison Avenue and 77 Sunshine Strip. A bull dozer yesterday afternoon grumbled and growled as it dug rubble from the site of a former gas station.

The district hasn’t made specific plans for the site. However, administrators have previously stated it would be a perfect location for additional parking space near Boggus Stadium. For the moment, however, the first purpose is simply to clear out the old structures.

“The plan all along was to knock all those buildings down,” Tapia said. “We’re just going to bring in back fill and fill it in and grow grass for now.”

Funding is unavailable right now to erect new structures on the two sites. Those plans will be made later.

“We’ll probably look at some committees and then decide what we can do there in the future,” he said.