ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Significant progress has been made on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) new August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in St. Charles.
The old range was closed for renovations at the beginning of 2015. Originally built in 1975, it hosted more than 40,000 shooters annually, which is the highest number of shooters for all MDC ranges in the state.
Barring major weather delays, the two-phase renovation project will culminate fall of this year in a new, state-of-the-art shooting range. The completely new range will enrich the quality of life for St. Louis-area shooters by expanding the availability of safe, enjoyable, and economical shooting opportunities.
Phase I of the project included demolition of the existing facility, followed by grading and preparation of the new site. An extensive lead screening and recycling project was also conducted to collect and recycle decades-worth of lead shot and bullets
“Recycling efforts are complete and they were successful,” said MDC Project Engineer Bill Scheperle.
Phase II of the project, construction of the new range, is currently underway. Rain and inclimate weather during the first half of 2016 caused some delays for construction crews. Nonetheless, Scheperle said he was pleased with the progress that has been made so far.
Scheperle stated that the new education building has been framed, and work is being done on the interior. The clay bird house is also framed and the shotgun overlays are well on their way to completion. Other progress Scheperle noted was the archery range, which is nearly finished.
Those wishing to track the progress for themselves can view two construction cameras mounted on the site by going to https://goo.gl/FA2186. The feeds are live and the cameras are mounted high atop lighting fixtures to give a good overview of the site. Not all work activity is within the cameras field of view, but onlookers can still see a lot of what’s being done.
The easy-to-navigate control panel allows viewers to choose between the two cameras, zoom in and scroll around the image, enlarge to fill the screen, and even change the date and time of the images displayed. There’s also a time-lapse feature that provides an animated view showing progression of the site over time. A current version of Adobe Flash Player will be required to access the camera feeds.
When completed later this year, the new Busch Shooting Range will feature a 20position, 100-yard shooting range, and a 15-position, 50-yard range for rifle and pistol use. Concrete floors, walls, and overhead steel baffle structures will control and contain projectiles. A bullet trap on the far end will decelerate bullets and deposit them into sealed plastic buckets at the base of the trap for recycling. Booths will also be handicap-accessible. There will also be lighting, sound-reduction guards, and public restrooms.
In addition, shotgun shooters will enjoy five trap/skeet overlay ranges with electronic controls, and two shotgun patterning ranges.
The new range will incorporate archery facilities on site including a static archery range with an elevated shooting tower and broadhead pits.
A new education office building at the shooting range will offer an 80-person classroom to host educational programs onsite.
The entrance to the new range will be on Route D, approximately a quarter mile west of the entrance to the old range.
For more information MDC shooting ranges in the St. Louis area or around the state, go to https://goo.gl/vJGYL6.