EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

The Colorado Springs area has been without a public shooting range since an accidental shooting death at the former Rampart Shooting Range in the summer of 2009. But the area took a step closer on Thursday to replacing that range.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place at the future site of the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex near Interstate 25 and Fort Carson's Gate 20. Representatives from local and state agencies joined Fort Carson officials at the event.

Organizers said the first phase of the range should be completed next June, and open with space for 90 shooters. The project also calls for charging a $10 all-day admission fee, which differs from the free admission at Rampart. Later phases of the project will include space for skeet shooting and shotgun shooting.

The first phase will cost $750,000, organizers said, with grants and donations instead of tax money financing the project. Organizers said the new range meets the strong public demand for a public shooting area, and that the new range is in a safe and convenient location.

Organizers said profits from the range will benefit soldiers and their families through A Soldier's Friend, a non-profit foundation.