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Archery club raises funds for facility expansion

Archery club raises funds for facility expansion

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A Bismarck-based archery club has raised more than $310,000, through grants and donations, toward its indoor facility's expansion project.

Curt Pearson, president for the board of directors for the Nishu Bowmen Club, said the addition will expand the 8-year-old building from 13,500 square feet to nearly 19,000 square feet. He said the bigger building is warranted.

"Before the indoor facility, we had 175 members and now we have 500. Our membership has more than doubled. It brings more opportunities," he said.

The Bismarck Park Board Thursday agreed to seek offers from firms to design the project, a step that precedes putting it to bid. The park district that owns the 34 acres of property the facility sets on will manage the construction process for the club and set the building timeline.

Pearson said he would like to see work start this fall and be completed before the prime indoor competition and league season, which takes place from December through March.

The project will add to the facility's east section, allowing for more training space, a new 20-yard target range and storage facility, according to Pearson.

"This addition will give us more training and shooting space for all ages," he said.

The Nishu Bowmen formed 60 years ago and has used the park district property in south Bismarck at 1409 Riverwood Drive since 1958.

"Before 2008, we had a wooden shack on the property for storage and used the outdoor ranges on the property," Pearson said.

The organization hosts four major indoor competitions per year and three summer outdoor events in June through August, Pearson said.

"The inflated prices of the Bakken have gone down, and this is a more modest proposal," he said. "The previous proposal had a second floor. We are cutting it down to the bare needs. We now have an estimate in the $305,000 to $310,000 range," he said.

The club's growth and need for expansion comes from an emerging demographic: young girls, he said.

"I have a theory," Pearson said. "With a lot of the movies like 'Brave' or The Hunger Games' saga where the heroine is skilled in archery. You can make archery what you want it to be. We have club members as young as ages 4 and 5 to 85."

(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com)

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