HARLINGEN — Coakley Middle School is aging very well.

The Harlingen school district is giving the school a makeover with a new paint job, sidewalk and athletic track, and it’s not over yet.

This week, while school is out for Thanksgiving, workers are replacing a metal roof over some office space.

And then there’s the marquee, a brand new sign at one corner of the campus so visible you can’t miss it.

“They had an old marquee that they had to manually put the letters up,” said Oscar Tapia, assistant superintendent for district operations at HCISD.

“The school has been trying for a couple of years now to install a digital marquee,” Tapia said. “It’s kind of hard for the staff to be going out there and have a letter fall and you have to change the letter.”

This new digital marquee will have twice the visibility of the old one.

“It’s got two sides on it as well so you can see it when you’re going or coming on Taft Street,” he said.

The sign is only the latest addition to the campus. Earlier this year the district upgraded Coakley’s athletic track. The work entailed a major overhaul of the track worth more than $600,000.

The caliche and asphalt sub base was removed and the entire track was rebuilt.

“We’re also installing a new sidewalk in the athletic fields where the bleachers are, where the parents come see the games,” Tapia said. “If it would rain, then it would get muddy, so we had to install a brand new sidewalk there.”

The sidewalk is about 400 feet long.

Some paint jobs have also given the school a fresh new look.

“We did some exterior painting on the outside during the summer, all the stucco work on the outside on the perimeter of the school,” he said. “We also painted all the interior hallways and installed brand new lockers.”


Sidewalk – $21,000

Marquee – $25,437

Paint job on stucco exterior – $30,800

Paint job in hallways – $24,000

New lockers – $68,000

Work paid for by local and TRE funds

TRE – Tax Ratification Election – funds are those dollars raise through a property tax increase approved by voters two years ago.