P. Marlin February 2016
Built in 1956, the ROTC Rifle Range building is located on the University of Florida campus. Abandoned for many years, it was once used by both the men and women's ROTC rifle teams for target practice as well as rifle storage. I was able to get a glimpse inside the old building which presented a unique photo opportunity given this is not something typically seen in the middle of campus. After taking photos, I researched the history of the building and ROTC rifle range, but other than determing the year the structure was built, I was unable to find much information. There is mention of the "rifle range being moved to a new position" to allow for a new recreation center in an April 14, 1948 issue of the Alligator, Recreational Center is Being Planned for Flavet Village, which indicates that plans were probably in the works to build this site.
According to 1947-48 issues of the Alligator, the men's rifle team was quite involved in out-of-state competitions, Rifle Team Beats Penn State for Second Win (1947), Gator Rifle Team Wins Clemson, VMI Matches (1947), and Gator Riflers Active in National Meets (1948). There is probably more information in 1950's issues of the Alligator, but those are not available online. I was particularly interested in finding information on the girl's rifle team activities, but was unable to.
Interestingly, I was told that due to the amount of lead in the ground at the site, the university, at present, has no plans to remove the building.
Read more about the history of the UF ROTC FIGHTIN' GATOR BATTALION.
ROTC men's rifle team in 1960. This photo would have been taken in and around the area photographed below.
The girl's rifle team practices at the range in the 1950's. This is a then and now photo respresentation, showing where the girls were in the now abandoned building.