Breaking ground on shooting range to happen Thursday

Photo by: Brandon Warnock

Lauren Gorla

The new Shooting Sports Education Center will break ground this Thursday and will include a public indoor archery range, an outdoor archery range and a firing range.

The center is located at the corner of Old Register Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, across from the M.C. Anderson Pavilion at the RAC.

Construction on the center is expected to take place from January through November 2014 and open in spring 2015.

Georgia Southern University and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources collaborated on this project to educate hunters and archers to be more responsible shooters and to promote safe shooting activities, according to a news release.

The goal of this new center is to assist the public and students with developing knowledge and skills of shooting in order to promote safe and responsible archery and firearms handling, according to the CRI website.

The objectives laid out for the Shooting Sports Education Center include providing indoor and outdoor shooting facilities, provide space for academic shooting sports programs for students and serve as a training site or nationally competitive collegiate shooting sports teams.

A particular focus of the facility will be to develop programs that will provide opportunities for growth and competition to shooting sports learners, according the website.

Once completed, the center will offer courses on shooting, such as hunter education, archery instructor training, safety classes and beginner shooting classes, according to the website.

Other shooting complexes around the country range from 17,000 to 24,000 square feet and sit on properties between five and 70 acres large.

However, the Shooting Sports Education Center at GSU will be 20,000 to 25,000 square feet and is designed for future expansion.

The women’s rifle team was formed this year as part of the move to the Sun Belt Conference and will utilize the space as a practice facility.

GSU is also working with local parks and recreation departments to organize people living in the Statesboro area in order to develop archery education for all ages and skill levels.

The Shooting Sports Education Center was made possible by multiple grants, with the initial money put forward by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

According to the website, the partnership will also physically be seen in the center by having a Wildlife Resources staff person on hand and will also serve as an educational center for southeast Georgia.