Longview ISD to invest $100k into new Forest Park gaming lab

Longview ISD has approved $100,000 worth of grant funds to construct a state of the art gaming lab.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:28 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Longview ISD has approved $100,000 worth of grant funds to construct a state-of-the-art gaming lab.

During the Monday night meeting of the Longview ISD Board of Trustees, the members agreed to direct a large sum of funds towards the purchase of new technology and furnishings for a gaming lab at Forest Park Magnet School. The purpose of the project will be to grow a gaming program that the district has been encouraging in recent years.

Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said that gaming is “more than just playing,” mentioning that coding, music, filming, and overall artistry make it a true field of study.

“Gaming is a big deal, and we want our kids to have the chance to accelerate into the unknown,” he said.

He said that the board recognizes that gaming is a rapidly growing industry, and Longview wants their students to be able to be the best they can be. Longview students’ interest in the field is widespread, as was seen at the Lobo Game Fest on Saturday. The event was created as a way to show residents that gaming is more than just a hobby.

“Originally started as a student showcase, then we thought, ‘We need to educate families on the value of the gaming industry,’” said event co-organizer Liz Ross.

Wilcox said that a Longview student walked away with a $1,500 prize, and an elementary student won $800. Several hundred students participated in the event, and Longview ISD believes that this massive interest is worth putting effort and money into.

“We have students that can do virtually everything or anything,” Wilcox said. “We just want to give them the opportunities to advance.”

The Forest Park lab will be the fourth campus gaming lab installment in Longview ISD, and Wilcox said that students will begin receiving scholarships in the program within the next two to three years.