Pharr commissioners take first step toward $25M bond for natatorium

Pharr commissioners this week took the first step toward going out for $25 million in bonds to fund a new natatorium, of which construction has already begun on the building that will be shared between the city, the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The measure passed unanimously at a city commissioners meeting this week, with Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez abstaining from voting.

If the city does eventually go out for the bonds, City Manager Alex Meade said the $25 million would reimburse the city for the money it is spending up front, and the land for the building, at Sioux Road and the expressway, was split between the city, PSJA and UTRGV, Meade said.

A public hearing will ensure where residents will have the opportunity to voice any questions or concerns. For Hernandez’s part, he’s excited.

“My son is an avid swimmer and my wife and I have had the privilege of cheering him on during many competitions,” Hernandez said at the construction groundbreaking earlier this fall. “I have seen the sport grow not only amongst the students and children of Pharr but throughout the Rio Grande Valley.”

UTRGV plans to build a sports medicine institute adjacent to the facility where medical students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience providing sports medicine therapy and care. PSJA athletes will also use the natatorium facility.

The building will feature an Olympic-size swimming pool, diving facilities and spectator seating, among many other amenities.