Daniel DeMarte

When we first started looking at where we would consider offering e-sports, we started in Chautauqua County, and when that conversation started, the partner we brought in was only working on large spaces, much larger than what we’re talking about here. They weren’t interested in small spaces. In fact, they may have said something along the lines that it couldn’t work in a smaller space. I think that was sad because again, as we first started looking at e-sports, what we were hearing was make sure you’re ready to go because it grows so fast that if you’re not ready, you’re going to be looking for space and put yourself in a situation where you’re not able to keep up. As the conversation continued and we made the decision, if we were going to offer e-sports, it made sense for us to do this. And the Cattaraugus County campus is part of the plan to reintroduce. We found a partner that looked in, had different experience in how we wanted to introduce it in it fit better with our plan. And so it led us to you as a partner and in what we have here now.

You know, I love this space. And we had been looking for some time on what to do with this depo. It hadn’t been used much for the past five, six years. And, you know, as we explored ideas, I really felt through all of those conversations that if we equip this space for the right purpose, in the right way, our students, especially our high school students, would want to be in this space. It’s such a cool space. And so now, for the first time in years, this building, this space has a purpose and it’s e-sports. I foresee within months students just buzzing through this building nonstop that they’re going to want to be in here. They’re going to want mom or dad somebody to drop them off so they can spend the day here, be in this building, and be on the equipment, in the furniture and with each other competing.