Ground is Broken for $3.5 Million Shooting Sports Center

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A new sports facility on the MSU campus will provide a home for shooting sports and archery teams, a regional venue for gun safety and law enforcement training, and a recreation destination for shooting sports enthusiasts.

The groundbreaking for the John and Marnie Demmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center was held July 18. The facility will be built on Jolly Road, midway between College and Hagadorn roads. Construction is expected to be completed by June 2009.

The facility is named in honor of MSU alumni and longtime supporters John Demmer and his late wife, Marnie. Demmer, who is founder and chairperson of the Lansing-based Demmer Corporation, provided principal support for the building.

The $3.5 million, 23,000-square-foot, multipurpose facility will support NCAA shooting programs and team sports, the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), and hunter safety and 4-H youth programs. It will also house club shooting sports—including small-bore, air rifle and archery—and academic programs in shooting sports, law enforcement and related curricula. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Glassen Foundation are also major supporters of the center and its allied activities. All funding for the center has come from contributions to the university rather than state or federal appropriations.

“The Demmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center is an important addition to both our competitive and educational programs. In addition to housing our NCAA teams, the new facility will promote firearms safety, wildlife management education and shooting sports skills development,” said Jeffrey Armstrong, dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “It is also an important extension of MSU training programs that serve local law enforcement agencies.”

Demmer, who met Marnie while attending MSU, sees the facility as a way to honor her legacy.

“It has been our fondest wish that this spectacular facility will help inspire respect for the shooting sports and that it will be replicated at other institutions,” Demmer said. “It feels great to be helping Michigan State University bring a world-class facility to its campus for the promotion of shooting sports.”

The center will be the second largest indoor shooting facility in the Midwest.

It will integrate and expand academic and certification capacity for MSU programs requiring firearm safety and education certifications, including the conservation officer specialization and environmental crime certificate offered through the departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Criminal Justice, and ROTC training and recruitment. It also will accommodate DNR conservation officer and MSU police officer certification training.

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