Harrisburg University Esports Training Arena Harrisburg, PA

In 2017 Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) officially launched an Esports program and assembled its first and only varsity sports team, the Storm. The 25-member team has since won numerous championships and HU recently introduced an Esports Bachelor of Science degree program.

A successful team needs a place to practice, and HU supported its commitment to the Esports program with a modern, vibrant and technology-rich training arena equipped with 30 top-of-the-line gaming computers, a coaching suite and student lounge located on campus within the Whitaker Center. The facility, which opened in November 2018, was designed and constructed in just three months.

Murray Associates Architects’ skatepark-inspired design created multiple room levels served by raceways for data and electrical infrastructure. The space features custom computer desks and a raised wooden floor with 37 connection points, enabling 18 different practice scenarios. In late 2019, the training arena was recognized with an Outstanding Project award from Learning by Design magazine.

As the mechanical and electrical engineering subconsultant, we embraced the challenge of transforming a former dance studio into a nerve center for serious gamers. Solutions involved using existing variable air volume boxes and adjusting the main air handler to meet fresh air requirements. It was imperative that any modifications to the return air duct not affect the building’s existing smoke containment and evacuation system. On the electrical side, we designed underfloor LED lighting to minimize glare on computer monitors from overhead fixtures.

Watch this video for more information about the Storm and HU’s Esports program.