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Gov. Bill Haslam announced Friday that Academy Sports will open a new distribution center in Cookeville, which will create about 700 new jobs in Putnam County over the next five years.

Academy Sports will begin construction on the 1.6 million square-foot facility this month, which the company estimates will be operational by early 2016. The distribution center will be located off Old Stewart Road along Interstate 40 in Cookeville. This will be Academy Sports' third distribution center.

The retailer said it will invest $100 million in Cookeville over the next five years.

"We've been an active member of the Tennessee community for over 15 years through our stores, and we're looking forward to further our commitment to the state and local communities through the addition of our new distribution center," said Academy Sports CEO Rodney Faldyn.

Academy Sports currently operates nine stores in Tennessee.

The company will begin initial hiring in fall 2015. People who want to apply should visit www.academy.com/careers.

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