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Jacksonville shooting range to open at end of monthPublished January 19, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.
JACKSONVILLE— At the end of January, anyone interested in trapshooting or skeet shooting will have access to a brand-new, 160-acre facility in Jacksonville.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Shooting Sports Complex will open Saturday, said Kevin House, Jacksonville Parks and Recreation director.
“We have 14 trap fields, and three of them are skeet overlay fields,” he said. “That means you can trapshoot or shoot skeet on the same field.”
The 18-month project came with a price tag of about $3.5 million.
“The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation donated $2 million to the construction of the facility,” House said.
House said the city also donated items the facility needs to finish its construction.
“The water department donated the water main, and the sewer department ran the force main and grinder pumps,” House said. “The city has come together on this. It’s been all hands on deck.”
Not only will this new facility bring sport shooters to the complex; it will bring a lot of traffic to the city of Jacksonville, House said.
“It’s going to bring a lot of people into and through Jacksonville, which is huge. That’s one of our jobs in parks and recreation in my opinion, to bring people in,” he said. “This is just another avenue to bring people into Jacksonville.”
House, who has been director of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation since May 2013, said the shooting complex is the first new facility that has come to completion since he has been director.
“Our complex is the largest in the state for trapshooting and one of the largest in the Southeast,” House said.
Though the complex isn’t open just yet, House has already received calls from residents expressing interest in using the complex.
“Within an hour’s drive of Jacksonville, there are 59 shooting teams,” he said. “The coaches have been calling and emailing us asking when their teams can come.”
Not only will teams from across the state travel to Jacksonville to practice, House said, he hopes to form some city shooting leagues, along with hosting statewide tournaments.
“The Game and Fish Commission’s Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program will hold its regional and state tournaments here,” House said.
When the facility opens, he said, its hours will be from 10 a.m. to dusk Wednesday through Sunday.
“That’s all tentative because if there’s a need to stay open later, or open on Monday and Tuesday evenings, we’ll just adjust,” House said.
Three of the fields have lights, so patrons will have the option to shoot at night when the facility is open.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Shooting Sports Complex is at the intersection of Loop and Graham roads in Jacksonville.
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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