Georgia Southern University is building a nearly $7 million Shooting Sports Education Center on its campus, and expects to open it for public use by Feb. 15, 2015.
The university broke ground on the 30,000-square-foot building in mid-November, and is taking applications for a director to oversee the center’s operations. The facility is located near the student recreation center, and will provide indoor ranges for archers and firearms shooters, as well as an outdoor archery range.
The Shooting Sports Education Center is a partnership between Georgia Southern University and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Georgia DNR secured a $3.5 million grant from the Easton Sports Development Foundations and the city of Statesboro to bolster private donations made to the university to support the facility.
In addition, the Archery Trade Association (ATA) will contribute to the center’s operational costs the first four years it’s operating. “This is an exciting program, and the ATA is proud to be part of something that will grow archery participation at the collegiate level and throughout surrounding communities,” said Mitch King, the ATA’s director of government relations.
The facility’s mission is to educate archers, hunters and shooters to promote safe firearms and bow handling. “This is the epitome of a public, private and government partnership,” said University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D., during November’s ground-breaking ceremony. “We have all come together to make something unique happen. The center will allow Georgia Southern to promote shooting safety, hunter safety and shooting education.”
The center’s director will develop a comprehensive schedule of programs, classes, tournaments and events. The center is expected to boost the local economy by attracting thousands of visitors to the campus and Statesboro each year for training, tournaments and classes. It will also be the home of the Georgia Southern women’s rifle team.
University officials worked with the Georgia Board of Regents the past two years to secure funding and the necessary approvals to launch the project. The school expects construction of the center to begin in earnest in January.
The center will be the first of its kind east of the Mississippi River, and will provide learning and recreational experiences for many students while introducing them to shooting sports.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs that serve more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu