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#VMThrowback: Groundbreaking starts new VMT campus
Originally published June 3, 2013
May 25, 2015
“We don’t see it as a waste of money. We see it as investment in our students.” — Dr. Marcus Nelson, Laredo Independent School District superintendent.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Nixon High School and Vidal M. Treviño magnet school took place on Monday, April 29, (2013,) at the Nixon campus.
The future VMT site is across the street.
Community leaders, teachers, and students took part in the ceremony and expressed their feelings towards the reconstruction of Nixon and VMT’s new campus/location that together will cost almost $70 million.
LISD school board president Hector “Tito” Garcia stated how Nixon High School and VMT have grown in the past years.
“Nixon High School was opened in September of 1964 on the 20 acres you see here that cost back then $1,100,000. We’re fixing to build a $45 million complex. A high-tech complex for the students of Nixon High School to become the biggest high school in Laredo ISD,” Garcia said.
Garcia also talked about VMT.
“VMT is going to be built for $24 million. It will be a beautiful campus. But it wasn’t always like that. When it opened in 1993, it didn’t have a home. [But] the board took initiative and bought a couple of homes downtown and found a home for them,” he said.
I’ve always believed that change is good, and I must look forward to VMT’s future and hope that our campus will acquire a new atmosphere of learning.”
— Matt Arambula, AP U.S. Government/Economics instructor
Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson mentioned how Vidal M. Treviño and Joseph W. Nixon, previous superintendents, helped mold the district.
“Mr. Treviño and Mr. Nixon helped make LISD what is today. All of their sacrifices, all of their time, all of their effort when into making a school district that perpetuates graduates in future generations something they’ll behold that’s dear to our hearts today,” he said.
Nelson continued, “The pride and tradition and the legacy that was created by these two gentlemen is what we stand and protect today.”
Gone when the new campus opens
Students expressed their mixed emotions about the relocation of VMT.
Jesus Iguanzo, VMT Ovation Brass student who performed at the ceremony, said he was unhappy of not being part of the new campus.
“In all honesty no, I’m graduating before the building is done and that makes me sad,” he said.
Aaron Hinojosa and Arturo Galvan, both VMT students, had a similar opinion when it came to the new VMT building/location.
“It’s awesome. It’s just sad that the juniors and seniors don’t get to see it,” Hinojosa said.
“It’s a shame I won’t take a part of it, but I think it’s a great idea,” Galvan said.
Victoria Valdez, a Nixon student, expressed how she is sad that she won’t be able to see the new campus.
“It’s pretty cool but I’m not going to be here to see it,” she said.
Teachers react to new construction
Teachers and school members also expressed their opinions about Nixon and VMT’s new buildings.
Adolfo Malacara, Nixon Physics teacher, expressed his reaction towards the new Nixon building.
“[I think it’s] a very positive thing. I am happy of the new building. Kids are advancing and moving forward. (It’s) good to have new things,” Malacara said.
Matias Arambula, VMT AP US Government and Economics teacher who has been teaching at the campus for all 20 years of its existence, expressed how the change will take a while to get used to.
“I’m going to say that the moving of our campus away from here and next to Nixon High School has been an idea that has not been very well accepted. It will take time,” he said.
Arambula, when asked about how VMT’s vibe or feeling will change, he said it won’t be the same as its original location and how he feels about it since he has been teaching at VMT since the beginning.
“However, there is an atmosphere here at VMT that will not (and cannot) be replicated at our future campus. The openness and liberty to travel between buildings for classes is what gives VMT its unique college atmosphere. This ‘feeling’ we will not have at the new campus,” he said.
Arambula continued, “To me it’s sad that we will be leaving this campus within 2 years. VMT has been at this location since it opened back in August 1993. There are a lot of memories for me in these old buildings. However, I’ve always believed that change is good, and I must look forward to VMT’s future and hope that our campus will acquire a new atmosphere of learning.”
Dr. Martha Villarreal, director of VMT, said she was excited about the new building/location and that it will be a dramatic move.
“I’m excited. We’ve waited 20 years. We are going to turn VMT around. We can’t wait. (It is) dramatic. (We) finally are housed in a state-of-the-art facility,” she said.
Robert Treviño, son of Vidal M. Treviño and a school district employee, spoke about VMT and the vision his father had.
“I’m sure that my mom and dad are elated at the fact that the school is being relocated in the Heights neighborhood we all grew up in. There may be some here today that may not know that 20 years ago my dad had a dream. That dream became his vision. And in 1993 dad’s dream, dad’s vision, became a reality,” Treviño said.
Treviño also talked about how the new VMT campus will have access to a high-quality and well-rounded education.
“An education that is accorded by the state-of-the-art technology, equipment and other resources in modern facilities that are designed to address the various talents and aspirations of students in a 21st century learning community,” he said.
Construction is expected to be finished and buildings move-in ready by August 2015.
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