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Proposed road dissects future Sharyland high school

MCALLEN — After more than an hour of executive session Tuesday, Aug. 7, McAllen city commissioners adjourned with their sleeves rolled up and without a decision.

The meeting was held to consult with the city attorney regarding legal aspects of the transportation plan and discussion of the economic development project “Echo.”

The agenda listed a possible action item relating to setting a public hearing regarding 6 ½ Mile Road, which as it stands cuts directly through the proposed site for a new Sharyland high school.

McAllen’s Planning and Zoning already approved the 6 ½ Mile route that would angle and merge into 6 ¼ Mile Line Road on the south side of the high school. The Hidalgo County Metropolitan Organization developed the alternate route. The MPO and City of McAllen don’t see the road being built for 20 years or more.

Sharyland Independent School District bought the land in 2005 to build its proposed Pioneer High School in order to alleviate overcrowding in the district’s current high school.

Sharyland Assistant Superintendent Jesse Muñiz said that when the school district planned the school, it didn’t anticipate 6 ½ Mile Road being an issue as district officials thought rerouting to 6 ¼ Mile Road wouldn’t be a problem. But that idea didn’t sit well with McAllen City Commissioners and faced community opposition.

“We did a feasibility study on that property but it didn’t include the MPO (McAllen’s transportation plan),” Muñiz said. “We just didn’t anticipate that there was an issue.”

But a decision from McAllen is coming down to the wire for Sharyland, as Muñiz said he was hoping to break ground for the school in September.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress,” Muñiz said. “We’re optimistic that we’ll find common ground and come to some consensus.”

In September 2011 SISD projected a 9.7-cent tax rate to district taxpayers to help pay a $55 million bond for a second high school.

Muñiz said he thought McAllen might hold another meeting Monday regarding 6 ½ Mile Line Road, but as of press time Aug. 9, no meeting had been posted.

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