Featured: South Texas College political science instructor Dr. Darrial Reynolds says growing up, he attended segregated schools in Talladega, Alabama, about 50 miles east of Birmingham. Shown here at the STC campus in Rio Grande City, Reynolds says like many first-generation students, he had to overcome significant hurdles to succeed in higher education.
Featured: Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, addresses fellow legislators and other area elected officials, business leaders and community advocates on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pharr Public Safety Communications Building, located at 100 West Ferguson. Muñoz’s efforts on behalf of public safety and law enforcement also include his key role in 2015 as the author of successful legislation that resulted in the creation of the South Texas College Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence in Pharr.
Featured: Gary Gurwitz, Member, Board of Trustees, South Texas College, was first appointed by Gov. Ann Richards in 1993, and has been elected and re-elected ever since, resulting in a career as a board member that spans an impressive five terms. Gurwitz currently serves as Chair, Facilities Committee, and Member, Education and Workforce Development Committee, Board of Trustees, South Texas College. He formerly served as Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, Board of Trustees, South Texas College. Gurwitz is featured in this image during the Wednesday, August 17, 2016 groundbreaking ceremony of the $24 million expansion of Dr. Ramiro B. Casso Nursing and Allied Health Campus in McAllen.
Featured: Residents of the Delta Area in Hidalgo County, such as these South Texas College students posing in this promotional image at one of its other campuses, soon will be able to take higher-education courses in their home region as a result of state legislation authored in 2015 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg.
Featured, from left: Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, and Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission, on Thursday, July 9, 2015, following their presentations before the McAllen Chamber of Commerce’s 84th Legislative Wrap-up Luncheon, held at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel in McAllen.
Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR
Plans to build the South Texas College Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence in Pharr received final approval from the STC Board of Trustees on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, a move that will result in a multi-million dollar economic impact for the city while improving law enforcement throughout South Texas, said Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., D-Mission. On a unanimous vote – with District 5 Trustee Dr. Alejo Salinas, Jr. of Edinburg excused on important business – the remaining six board members present for the public meeting approved an interlocal agreement with the City of Pharr and the Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District that will result in a major presence by STC on a 113.9 acre site located between U.S. Highway 281 and South Veterans Boulevard. “Obviously, this is a huge step for the people of Pharr and the PSJA school district because it brings one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Texas into our community,” said Muñoz, whose House District 36 includes a large section of Pharr. “This is a landmark event, the latest success story in the Valley, and I congratulate the many people who worked long and hard to help make this happen.” The STC Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence was made possible in large part by Muñoz, who successfully authored House Bill 1887 last spring before the Texas Legislature. HB 1887 led to statutory authority for the STC to undertake the development of regional law enforcement training. “The Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence will increase necessary access to training opportunities for officers in the Rio Grande Valley region and, in turn, improve public safety and border security,” Muñoz further explained. “The training provided at the regional center also would provide officers with college credit toward either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, while the four police academies in the area would not.” The importance of establishing the STC complex in Pharr was emphasized during the State of the City Address on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, by Mayor Ambrosio “Amos” Hernández. “We are proud to announce that we have entered into a partnership to have a South Texas College facility in Pharr,” proclaimed the mayor, who was elected to his first term in May 2o15. “The facility will bring $9 million in economic impact and approximately $3 million in payroll.” Hernández shared Muñoz’ vision of the potential for the complex, with the mayor calling it “an STC Branch for PSJA ISD students.” Muñoz, a three-term state legislator who serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which shaped the current $200+ billion state budget, praised his fellow Valley lawmakers for helping pass the state law authorizing and helping fund the South Texas Regional Center for Public Safety. “Sen. Juan Hinojosa was the Senate author of my House Bill 1887, while Rep. Terry Canales, Rep. Bobby Guerra, Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, and Rep. Ryan Guillen were joint authors in the House, and they all deserve credit for this huge accomplishment,” said Muñoz. “There is no substitute for experience when it comes to getting what we deserve from the Texas Legislature.” According to STC, with the interlocal agreements with the city and school district be approved, it will take between 18 months and 24 months to build the 21,800 square-foot facility, which will be the initial heart of The Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence. The project will include classroom facilities, vehicle driving range, outdoor shooting range, firearms simulator, mobile firearms simulator/live firing range, driving simulator, obstacle course, fitness rooms, and administrative offices. The estimated initial construction cost is $6.782 million, which includes $4.2 million from South Texas College’s Series 2013 Bond Issuance, $1.5 million provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and $1 million provided by the PSJA school district. The City of Pharr will contribute 59 acres and the PSJA school district will contribute 10 acres to begin the project. Within two years, the City of Pharr has proposed contributing another 32.24 acres, and within five years, the City of Pharr proposes contributing 12.55 additional acres.