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20130226 MISSION Historical Museum Ground Breaking AF  0031MISSION—City leaders, community members and Mission Historical Museum staff gathered on Tuesday morning to break ground for the museum’s improvements project. Museum Director Luis D. Contreras II said the project is momentous, a once in a lifetime occasion.

The improvements planned for the museum include replacing the parking lots that now separate the Shary building from the Museum Annex (old post office) with landscaping and a walkway that will connect the buildings. This area will also include a Chapparal Rock Garden, a jacal, fountain, and butterfly garden.  

“We are very excited, and we are very humbled,” Contreras said. “The concept was designed to better provide our services to the community while enhancing the quality of life. Today, this idea is transpiring into a reality.”

Mayor Norbeto “Beto” Salinas was in attendance with City Manager Julio Cerda and Mission Police Chief Martin Garza. Others in attendance were the Sharyland ISD Superintendant Dr. Virginia N. Richter, Peñitas Mayor Marcos Ochoa and Peñitas City Manager Noe Cavazos.

“I know we are a little late on the renovation of this area,” Salinas said. “This is going to be the nicest area in Mission; people are going to come and look at it. I’m going to dedicate myself to making sure that the board for the museum gets what they need.”

Cerda added that this has been a venture that has been looked at since 2003. He said it is part of the plan to create a connection between prominent buildings in the downtown area, including the Leo Peña Placita Park, Texas Citrus Fiesta building, the Mission Chamber of Commerce and the museum.

Chairman of the museum board, Pete Jaramillo said former museum chairmen, Ben Olivarez and Celso Gonzalez, created the project vision.

“They had the vision to think about what our museum was going to look like in the future,” Jaramillo said. “We are really excited and looking forward to this project.”

Contreras said the involvement and support from the community has also helped the project take form.

“Most importantly, thank you for entrusting us with your past, present and future,” Contreras said.

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