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Sharyland ISD held a groundbreaking ceremony for the district's second high school on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Board members, past and present, school district staff, and others involved with the new high school gathered for ceremony at the site of the proposed $41 million high school to be built at 6 ½ mile N. Shary Road.

Dr. Noe Oliveira, school board president, said the most distinguished guest at the event was Mrs. C.K. Koelle, the previous owner of the property where the new school will be built. Oliveira said the new high school will feature pictures of the Koelle family on the property.

School superintendent Dr. Virginia Richter said, "What an exciting time in Sharyland."

Richter has lived in the community for 27 years. Her husband and his siblings all graduated from Sharyland high school, she said.

"It's exciting for me being a part of the community," said Richter. "To see the growth and to see the school district accommodating that growth by having another high school.

"The high school is being named after those that began Sharyland," she said of the name "Pioneer High School." "We honor them with the high school."
"Now we get to begin the process of having a brand new high school."

The new high school will serve the north side of the school district, which encompasses portions of five municipalities – Mission, McAllen, Edinburg, Palmhurst and Alton.

Texas Descon was selected as the construction company for the project earlier this month. The $41 million high school have over 345,000 square feet of space and will include 14 buildings that will house 84 classrooms, including labs, lecture halls and life skills classrooms. The facility will include includes two drama classrooms, two band halls, three ensemble rooms, one sewing classroom, and two computer labs. Also included are an athletic field house and dressing room field house with lockers and areas for boys and girls. Practice fields for baseball, softball and football are planned for the new school.

The high school should take about 18 months to complete and is expected to be ready for students to walk the halls by August 2014.

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