STC to receive initial grant for target range construction
PHARR — A few months after its inauguration, the South Texas College Regional Center for Public Safety in Excellence is receiving an initial grant of $307,219 to begin the construction of a $4 million, 12-lane target range.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, or TPWD, is scheduled to formally announce the grant at a news conference in Austin on Nov. 29, according to a college news release.
STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed will travel to Austin to join TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith and state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, for the announcement scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Capitol.
The funds will be used for the Phase I-Planning Target Range Program, and will take care of 75 percent of the engineering cost, architectural fees and environmental assessment on the property.
The college will in turn fund the remaining 25 percent of these costs, about $102,000, to meet the match requirement of the grants.
STC’s regional center is expected to grow over the years as the 19,500-square-foot facility inaugurated in September only encompasses the first phase of a $71.28 million master plan.
The college partnered with the city of Pharr for the construction of the center, which contributed with 27 acres of land valued at $2.5 million, and with Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district, which also donated 10 acres valued at about $370,000.
The center is slated to aid state and federal law enforcement, public safety, criminal justice and fire science professionals with the training requirements catered to this specific region. College-credit courses will also allow cadets to pursue several associate degrees and certificates, and high school students will also take college-level courses at the center.
This $4 million target range will be funded by mostly federal funds, as these will cover about $2.8 million, while STC will match these funds at a total of $1.2 million once completed.
“The timeline for the target range at STC RCPSE is set for completion by Feb. 28, 2021, and is slated to be developed in two phases,” the release states. “Phase I will involve the planning for the range and Phase II will involve the construction of the facility.”
The target range will also be open to the public for firearms safety trainings, practice shooting and skills development.
“In addition to the target range, the college will also provide related educational opportunities, including face-to-face hunter education courses offered by Texas Parks and Wildlife and led by certified Texas Hunter Education instructors,” the release states.