DONEY PARK, Ariz.- The groundbreaking of the first indoor shooting range has some people living nearby excited while others worry.
Timberline Firearms and Training broke ground early Tuesday and construction crews are set to start work on the 11,000-square-foot facility by Thursday.
One owner of the facility, Rob Wilson, hopes by the end of March 2018, customers will be walking through the front entrance to practice their shot at the only indoor shooting range in the Flagstaff area.
Wilson said people here need somewhere to practice that isn't the woods.
“We really want to give those folks that are shooting out in the forest into a safe environmentally controlled area,” Wilson said.
The owner of the future facility said some groups did protest the location of the shooting range during public hearings because of its close proximity to homes in the area. Wilson said 8-inch concrete walls and ceilings would be built to help control some noise concerns he received when he first introduced his plan.
“So our sound levels are going to be far less than what the highway going by out front is,” Wilson said.
In a press release, the owner said air exhaust will be filtered, catching everything larger than .3 microns in diameter with HEPA filters.
Ninah Cook, a homeowner near Copeland Lane and U.S. Highway 89 and mother of two, said she was concerned about living so close to a gun range.
“It just scares me a little bit,” Cook said.
Cook said her son, on the other hand, was excited.
“He’s super stoked about it because he goes with his grandpa all the time shooting, but I don’t think I would take them there,” Cook said.
On the other side of U.S. Highway 89 near Last Chance Road, Meranda Payne, looked forward to the new shooting range.
“Especially it being out here in Doney Park, we don’t have a lot of fun stuff to do out here,” Payne said.
Wilson said the range will feature 12 shooting lanes and offer courses ranging from an introduction to firearm techniques, to wilderness survival training.
The range was expected to employ 15 to 20 full- and part-time workers.