Towers Complex lobby rearranged to accommodate new eSports arena
Returning students may notice something different about the Towers Complex lobby as public spaces have been relocated to make room for the new eSports Arena.
Primarily used by students for academic purposes, the computer lab and study room within the complex were relocated to a new space. Other spaces relocated include the Residence Hall Association office and the custodial lead space.
Director of Residence Life Kendra Skinner explained the process of finding new spaces and why the administration decided to make those changes now.
“All of this was born out of the desire to find an adequate space to meet the needs of the eSports Arena,” Skinner said. “We looked at the spaces, and we wanted something that would be accessible to students so that narrowed things down on campus pretty fast.”
All the spaces are still located in Towers lobby, but now in a new room, each is slightly smaller and holds fewer people.
“It is kind of a big domino move in order to accommodate everything,” Skinner said. “Other than the loss of some storage space for our office, all the other spaces were accommodated in the complex, just moved into slightly smaller rooms.”
The computer lab was moved to the old study room in room 110, where a wall was taken down from an unused storage room to create space for 20 computers for. That’s about half the computers that used to be in the lab.
“We knew the importance of the computer lab that is nearly 24/7, and we didn’t want to lose that computer lab space,” Skinner said. “The study room was really popular amongst students and was something that I didn’t want to give up.”
The study room moved to room 111 across the hall from where the RHA office used to be. The new RHA office can be found in room 112, which was the old custodial leads space.
The new eSports Arena has a section of 12 PC gaming computers, five televisions with three types of gaming consoles for video gaming, a flat-screen television to view the games in real-time and space for students to watch their peers compete.
Skinner said the university worked to find space for all students, both involved in eSports and not.
Associate Director of Recreation Services Eric Redinger said the arena is for recreational use, but the eSports teams have priority when it comes to space in the room.
“It will be an open lounge, but there will be scheduled times for the club,” Redinger said. “So a student who is not a club member but just wants to go in and get on a PC, that will not always be available because the club will be practicing or competing.”
The arena is set to open to the public Sept. 3, but are already hosting nights for the eSports team exclusively.