WIUM Tristates Public Radio

WIU Converting Building into a Digital Rec Center

Apr 29, 2021

Western Illinois University will open a digital rec center on its Macomb campus this fall. The center will house Western's eSports team and be a platform for competitive gaming.

Western Electronic Gaming Association (WEGA) President Benjamin Hironimus-Wendt believes the center will play a large role in attracting students back to campus.

“This is going to be one of the driving forces of getting students back on campus,” Wendt said. “Instead of coming back with a whimper, we’re going to have a booming population, there will be more things to do.”

Hironimus-Wendt also said that Macomb-area high-schools were surveyed to see if a digital rec- center would attract more students to Western. Wendt said approximately 200 students participated and 30 liked the idea of a digital rec-center. The survey was conducted several years ago. 

The digital rec center will be housed in the former Chapman’s Bookstore on West Adams Street. The building is undergoing a complete renovation (flooring, paint, heating/cooling, restrooms, etc.).

In addition to top of the line computers and game chairs, fiber network internet connection is being installed to make the center e-gaming friendly.

WIU Auxiliary Services will fund the renovations.

The center plans on having irregular hours to appeal more to the gaming crowd.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.