A new complex at Georgia Southern University could soon offer safety classes for hunters as well as a place for student-athletes, gun owners and Olympic hopefuls to hone their skills.
University leaders and others broke ground on a new $7 million Shooting Sports Education Center near the corner of Old Register Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway. Georgia's Department of Natural Resources and several private donors will split the construction cost.
The 25,000 square foot center will hold an indoor range for archery and one for firearms. Each will be able to accommodate 16 people at a time. While it will be the home for the university's women's NCAA riflery team, the center will also be available to the public. University leaders also hope it will attract competitors training for national and international events.
"These are Olympic sports. We hope we can be the home for the next generation of gold medal winners," said university President Dr. Brooks Keel.
The center will also include classrooms that could be used for things like hunter safety courses.
"This is the first time we've done something like this," explained DNR Commissioner Mark Williams. "We hope this is going to have an impact state wide and be a regional facility."
The university hopes to have the center built and open in roughly 18 months.