SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Good news for San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation. The once struggling Silicon Valley institution is showing a budgetary surplus for the first time in several years.

It’s a popular spot for large school groups taking field trips to the downtown San Jose museum.

”There’s lots of gadgets in there, and I want to play with them. I like science,” said sixth grader Tristen Hollinsworth, who was excited about his first trip to the Tech.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The 10-year-old institution has seen a drop in attendance in recent years, and a budget deficit of more than $4 million last year, but this fiscal year it’s showing a profit.

”We have a surplus of $1.88 million for the Tech Museum,” said outgoing museum President Dr. Peter Friess.

He credits three factors: an increased endowment thanks to the improved stock market, more contributions from donors, and increased efficiency with a 32 percent smaller staff.

”They do the work now that 250 people did three years ago, which is just incredible,” said Friess. “So our cost per visitor went down by more than 45 percent over the years.”

Friess said the museum is poised for growth, even though the city has said it will likely not have any extra revenue to help the Tech with so-called “blockbuster” exhibits like Star Trek and Body Worlds.


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