Friday Night Bytes: Ribbon cut on new eSports facility
The Florence One School District held a ribbon cutting for its new state-of-the art eSports facility located in the Poynor Adult Education School.
eSports, a form of sport competition using video games, has become enormously popular in recent years with high schools, colleges, and universities adding eSports to their curriculum and extra curricular offerings. Numerous eSports scholarships are available.
“This week we’re excited to launch the next phase of what we think will be not only a state-of-the-art facility, but also something that’s going to be a model for eSports,” said Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley during his opening remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
O’Malley said the decision to place the eSports facility in the district’s oldest school was intentional. He said Poynor will soon house a medical magnet program that will be every bit as high-tech as the eSports facility.
The state-of-the art facility features two banks of computers on a raised platform where 12 students, six on each side, sit back-to-back. Each student has his or her own monitor and keyboard on which to play. Tables for spectator viewing are placed around the outside of the platform.
eSports coach Wyatt Howle said the program has been in the works for about a year and he can’t wait to get started.
“This has been a personal dream of mine
for a couple of years now,” said Howle. “We’re building a great program here with some local community partners.”
Howle said the games involve teamwork and problem solving and help students develop job and life skills beyond what is taught in classrooms.
Also speaking during the ceremony was F1S Chief Technology Officer Kyle Jones.
Jones said eSports caters to students who don’t fit in any other niche the school system offers.