University News

WIU Digital Rec Center Grand Opening Set for Oct. 11

October 8, 2021


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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – It's the moment Western Illinois University gamers have been waiting for … the grand opening of the WIU Digital Recreation Center (DiRC) on the WIU-Macomb campus.

Housed in the former Chapman's Bookstore, on Adams Street, across from Sherman Hall, the new DiRC will officially open Monday, Oct. 11. The center, which is currently open to WIU students only, will be open from 10 a.m.-1:30 a.m. seven days a week. In order to gain access, students must go to their STARS account to complete terms of agreement. Once the agreement is completed, students will have access to the DiRC.

The WIU Foundation purchased the building in 2019, and WIU Auxiliary Services (University Housing and Dining Services, Campus Recreation and the University Union) funded the renovation, which was led by WIU Facilities Management. University Technology (uTech) assisted with equipment purchases, and will manage the facility.

"This is another outstanding extracurricular opportunity for our students. The interest in eSports has exploded in recent years, and we're on top of this growing trend. The new Digital Recreation Center provides another recreational outlet for our students, as well as top-notch competition space," said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "We greatly appreciate the WIU Foundation for funding this new initiative, and also extend our thanks to our facilities management, auxiliary services, uTech and student services staff for joining together to make this project happen."

The Macomb center houses the WIU-Macomb's eSports Club, through Campus Recreation, and provides competitive gaming opportunities (League of Legends, Fortnite, etc.), console gaming, a virtual reality (VR) station and more. In addition, the lower level serves as a "black box" space, which other student organizations can use for programming and activities.

"We are so excited that the digital rec center is opening on Monday," said Ben Hironimus-Wendt, acting president of Western Electronic Gaming Association (WEGA). "This is a place we can call our own and will allow us to compete on equal grounds with other teams."

WEGA, which was founded in Fall 2019, meets on Tuesdays from 6-10 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center Colgate Room. For more information, contact Hironimus-Wendt at BA-Hironimus-Wendt@wiu.edu.

"I am very excited to see the Digital Rec go from concept to fruition," said WIU Executive Director of Auxiliary Services and Risk Management Joe Roselieb. "This unique project has involved so many different areas at WIU and is a testament to the collaboration that occurs each day on campus."

In addition to the Macomb DiRC, the WIU-Quad Cities eSports Club recently received equipment upgrades at the QC campus. The QC digital center is located in Quad Cities Complex 2102. In May 2020, the WIU-QC eSports Club won the Good Game (GG) League championship. For more information about the WIU-QC eSports Club, email Curtis Williams at CM-Williams11@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations