The Spring Valley Wildlife Area Shooting Range was closed on October 1st for improvements and a rebuilding of the gun and archery ranges. A new entrance and road are being built off Houston Road. The work is expected to be completed in late 2019. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Rain delays re-opening of popular shooting range

This year’s rainfall pushed back the re-opening of Ohio’s most popular shooting range in Spring Valley Twp., Greene County.

Work continues on the $2.4 million improvement project at Spring Valley Wildlife Area Public Shooting Range, 3450 Houston Road in Greene County.

Ohio Division of Wildlife officials hoped the range could re-open by this summer, but that’s been pushed back to the end of September, early October, according to Eric Postell, outdoor education supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

RELATED: State’s Greene County shooting range closes for $2.4M ‘major facelift’

“The construction completion schedule has been pushed back due to the large amount of rain the area received in June,” Postell said.

The Dayton area received nearly 10 inches of rain in June and nearly six inches of rain in July, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington. Total rainfall for the year is more than 32 inches, which is nearly eight inches above normal, according to the NWS.

David Honeycutt, who is the interim wildlife area supervisor out of ODNR wildlife division’s Xenia office, said the rainfall caused muddy conditions and prevented the contractor from moving soil. This week, the contractor is pouring concrete and is expected to start soon on improvements to the archery range, Honeycutt said.

“They’re making good progress this week,” he said.

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The project is creating a new entry way, adding more parking spaces, erecting a new rangemaster building, and adding safety features and improvements to the pistol and rifle shooting range.

The archery range is slated to be relocated on the 842-acre site and include increased ranges of 40 to 50 yards.

Xenia-based R Sutherland Construction is the contractor on the project, which is being paid for through federal Pittman-Robertson wildlife conservation funds.

The Spring Valley Twp. site is the most used among public shooting ranges across the state, with up to 30,000 people signing in annually to use the pistol and rifle ranges, according to officials.

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