New $91.8 million facility home to UTSA’s School of Data Science

Gauri Raje, News Editor

On Jan. 9, 2023, UTSA inaugurated San Pedro I, which houses the new School of Data Science and the National Security Collaboration Center. The new building, located at 506 Dolorosa St., is a part of the university’s larger efforts to expand its downtown presence. 

IBM describes data science as a discipline that “combines math and statistics, specialized programming, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning with specific subject matter expertise to uncover actionable insights hidden in an organization’s data.” 

Despite being a relatively new field, data science is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the job outlook for the field as being “much faster than average,” with a projected growth of 36 percent from 2021 to 2031.

Given the growth of data science and its increasing importance, President Eighmy highlighted the unique government, university, industry and national security ecosystem here in San Antonio at the opening ceremony. Eighmy went on to state that the university has an obligation to advance equity, develop the workforce of the future and drive the economy of San Antonio and Texas as a whole. 

San Pedro I is so much more than a new building; it’s a testament to UTSA’s commitment to serve San Antonio, especially our Downtown community, around these incredible national security and data science ecosystems that we have here in San Antonio,” Eighmy said. “We have the opportunity to educate and prepare the next generation of data science leaders … especially from the equity lens that is core to who we are at UTSA. Let’s keep our educated workforce here in San Antonio, serving our friends and partners.”

UTSA is one of five schools in the nation with a school of data science. It is the only Hispanic Serving Institution to have an entire school dedicated to the discipline. During his opening speech, President Eighmy took a moment to thank all the individuals who were instrumental in making San Pedro I a reality, many of whom attended Monday’s opening ceremony. 

Graham Weston, the founder of Rackspace, also took to the podium to reiterate the importance of San Pedro I and the new school in making San Antonio a hub for data science. 

There are days where change happens in a big way and today’s one of those days, and you’re here for that,” Weston said. “This is going to be one of the best places and one of the biggest places that data scientists will be found. They’ll be born right here, within this 100 square feet … UT San Antonio is already renowned around the world for its cybersecurity, but data science is so much bigger — it is a bigger scope, it is a bigger discipline and together with cybersecurity, it becomes so much stronger.” 

The opening ceremony ended with a presentation by the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Uyi Stewart, chief data and technology officer at Through his speech, Stewart talked about the unequal access to data that is prevalent in the developing world. He drew on the example of the Gutenberg press and its role in democratizing knowledge to highlight the importance of democratizing data in a similar way.

Data science can help to solve global systemic challenges … [but] only if done right,” Stewart said. Just like we saw with the Gutenberg press, [it is important] that we democratize data and data science, that we make it available [and accessible] to all … because when that happens, it creates a pathway for the digitalization of knowledge for everyone.”

 “I believe that UTSA and [its] School of Data Science is poised to make an impact, not just in San Antonio but around the world,” Stewart added.

UTSA’s downtown expansion will continue as the focus now switches to the planning of the new $161.2 million Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Careers building, which will be known as San Pedro II.