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'It's wildly exciting': Morris College building new Innovation Technology Laboratory

The laboratory is currently under construction with plans to open by the end of October. Students will be able to play e-sports and learn about coding in the space.

SUMTER, S.C. — Morris College is building an Innovation Technology Laboratory, which students will soon be able to use both recreationally and academically. They can play e-sports for fun while also learning about coding and game development in the new space.

The lab is inside the science building. Soon, students will be using it to play sports virtually.

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"It could be basketball, baseball, football, tennis, you name it, can be played in the virtual domain in e-sports," Morris College President Leroy Staggers explained. "You can engage in competition in e-sports with colleges and universities across the country and actually around the world."

In addition to the recreational opportunities, it will also be used to teach about coding and video game development. 

"It’s just an area that is wildly exciting," Staggers said.

Fahat Omar is a freshman at the college. He says he’s excited for the lab to open.

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"I feel like it’s a great step ahead for like a college that’s, like, not very well known. So I think it brings a lot of attention to the school," Omar continued. "I think it’s something that’s going to bring a lot of attention to students because there’s not really like something like this going on around the school."

The lab will be open to students like Omar and to Sumter residents.

"One of the things we like to do is invite the community into our campus space," Staggers added.

The school is also offering micro-program certificates, which will be taught in this space. There are over 1,000 certificates available on topics from cybersecurity to entrepreneurship. 

"Anybody on our campus, in the city of Sumter, in the state of South Carolina, or around the world can actually enroll and take these classes for certifications," Staggers told me.

According to Staggers, the college is prepared to open the lab by the end of October.

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