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Technology & Entrepreneurship

Technology Museum Gets A Home At Port San Antonio

Courtesy of Port San Antonio
The Mabry Conference Center at Port San Antonio will be the new home of a Technology Museum.

Port San Antonio's Board voted Wednesday to become the first official home of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology. SAMSAT is a nonprofit that wants to create programming for students, display technology across the centuries, and tell the story of how San Antonio has propelled the technology industry.

The nearly 14,000 square-foot Mabry Conference Center is only slightly bigger than its last venue. The museum has been homeless the past five months after vacating a building that SAMSAT founder and main collection contributor David Monroe sold. They had set up a dense showroom of old technology to give small groups of students and prospective funders a sense of why San Antonio needed this museum. 

James Castro is the new CEO who comes most recently from St. PJ's Children's Home. Castro says since he was hired in January they have been busy nailing down next steps, writing a business plan and finding this new home. He says they spent a lot of time deliberating on where to live next because, despite efforts dating back to 2015, they are really just getting started.

"It's one thing if you're starting from scratch and maybe you have a potential sponsor who is giving you seven figures to get started versus not," he says.

Port San Antonio is offering the space for free this first year, which is an in-kind donation of more than $186,000.

Castro says they plan to offer programming this summer. He hopes that the museum doesn't give people the idea of just coming in and looking at stuff because the old tech is just a catalyst.

"We will break them down for kids. We will tell the story of inventors and companies from San Antonio and then we'll take them to the next place of hands-on learning activities," says Castro, who expects to learn a lot from the first summer's offerings to students.

Armed with the recent consult from a professional museum curator, the showroom will be set up but paired back from the racks and racks technology they once had, and again be used to tell San Antonio's story in technology. 

Someday Castro hopes the museum has 10 times the space.