A long-awaited pistol and rifle shooting range was officially dedicated Wednesday at the Warren Shooting Sports Complex.
The project actually began about four years ago through a joint operation from the city of Warren and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Ten shooting stations were constructed, with the city putting in a 10 percent match, including in-kind labor, on a $669,000 grant from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The adjacent shotgun range will be open on Fridays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m. The pistol-rifle range will be open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. The cost is $7 per session. At the pistol-rifle range, two targets are included for a 1-hour period. Additional targets are $2. For additional information, call Bubba York at 820-1428.
AG&FC owns and operates eight shooting ranges and 30 archery ranges. It was indicated the Warren complex may be expanded later to include an archery range.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was sponsored by Bradley County Chamber of Commerce, including Executive Director Terrie White, with city, county and state officials participating.
Warren Mayor Denisa Pennington, Bradley County Judge Klay McKinney and state Rep. Jeff Wardlaw gave the welcome to the guests.
Included were AG&FC Chairman Bobby Martin, Commissioner J.D. Neeley, Deputy Director Spencer Griffith, Assistant Chief of Education Grant Tomlin, Archery Coordinator Curtis Gray, Assistant Chief of Communications Randy Zellers and AG&F Foundation President Deke Whitbeck. State Sen. Ben Gilmore also attended.
Arkansas State Police and Warren Police Department sent several officers to the event. University of Arkansas at Monticello Chancellor Peggy Doss attended, as well as UAM personnel Bob Ware, David Carter and Jay Harrod. SEACBEC Director Devin McDiarmid and SEACBEC personnel Johnna Sue McMurry, Jeremy Groves and Jamie Vail attended, as did Greg Cheshire of PotlatchDeltic.
City Council members Angela Marshall, Emily Moseley, Joel Tolefree and Dorothy Henderson attended, as did JP Jimmy Sledge.
“This was a collaboration of a lot of people and a lot of effort. This will be a testament to other projects,” McKinney said.
“This was a project begun before I was mayor,” Pennington said, noting contributions from Bradley County Road Department, SEACBEC, Warren Street Department, York, local vendors and Bond Engineers.
“The richest resource we have is the people and children who live here,” Neely said. He said the state has 500,000 recreational shooters with 65,000 related jobs.
Top photo: Warren Shooting Range manager Bubba York introduces Warren Mayor Denisa Pennington to the Complex’s new pistol and rifle range during Wednesday’s grand opening of the addition to the Shooting Sports Complex.