Community celebrates opening of Marathon STEM/Robotics Center in Texas City

Community News

Galveston Bay, Texas City, Texas, foundation
Representatives from Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay refinery join staff and students from the Texas City Independent School District (TCISD) outside the school system’s new state-of-the-art STEM and robotics center for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 12.
  • Texas City Independent School District (TCISD) celebrated the opening of its new state-of-the-arts robotics center, supported by Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay refinery.
  • The ribbon-cutting event was held less than a year after the school system broke ground on the much-anticipated robotics and STEM center.
  • TCISD Marathon Robotics/STEM Center is its official name, after Marathon committed a multi-year investment in the project in 2022 to help advance the district’s STEM programming.

Less than a year after crews broke ground on the much-anticipated Texas City Independent School District (TCISD) Marathon STEM/Robotics Center, the facility is now open and ready to welcome students. Leaders from Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay refinery returned for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 11, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with school and community leaders at the event.

Dave Leaver, Vice President of Refining at the Galveston Bay refinery, speaks to an audience gathered inside the new facility following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In 2022, Marathon committed to providing a multi-year investment in the project through TCISD’s Foundation for the Future to advance the school district’s programming in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2023, refinery leadership took part in the groundbreaking ceremony to kickoff construction of the state-of-the-arts robotic center.

“This is a historic day for TCISD, as well as for the thousands of students and families we proudly serve,” said Dr. Melissa Duarte, Superintendent of TCISD. “This new center will create opportunities for countless students for many years to come and we can’t thank the community and partners like Marathon enough for helping us make this day possible.”

(L-R) Ryan Caruso, from the office of State Rep. Mayes Middleton, State Rep. Terry Leo-Wilson, District 23, Dave Leaver, Alexis Kopp, TCISD Career & Technical Education Director, Dr. Melissa Duarte, TCISD Superintendent of Schools, Melba Anderson, TCISD Board President, Tim Culp, President/CEO, Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce, Iman Montgomery, Community and Stakeholder Engagement Representative at Marathon Petroleum.

The new facility, located behind the district’s industrial trade center is part of a larger project that includes a new La Marque High School and stadium for the fast-growing school system. TCISD serves nearly 8,000 students in La Marque and Texas City.

“We are so proud to be part of this transformational project, and watching it come together, from start to finish, has been a real joy for all of us,” said Dave Leaver, Vice President of Refining at the Galveston Bay refinery. “Even better than that is knowing the best is yet to come for the students of Texas City ISD, whose educational experiences in robotics will be further advanced within the walls of this top-notch facility.”

Marathon’s grant is helping with the purchase of robotics equipment and materials for the new facility. The school aims to advance its award-winning robotics program and provide new opportunities for even more students.

TCISD students interact with one of the center’s new robots, purchased through Marathon Petroleum’s multi-year investment in the center.