Troop C will move west, to Weldon Spring site
By Susan Weich

WELDON SPRING Troop C of the Missouri Highway Patrol has outgrown its headquarters in Town and Country and will be moving west to St. Charles County.

The troop's base of operations has been at 599 South Mason Road since 1968, but a new facility is being planned about 14 miles away, at the northeast corner of the Highway 40-94 interchange in Weldon Spring. The move is expected to be completed in December 2008.

The patrol's current 16-acre site in Town and Country was purchased by BJC HealthCare, the parent group for 13 hospitals in the St. Louis area, said Kim Kitson, spokeswoman for BJC.

She said the company had acquired the site for future space needs and had no immediate plans for it. She would not disclose how much the hospital had paid. The facility's assessed value is $1.4 million, according to the St. Louis County assessor's office.

About 70 employees work out of the current building, while many troopers are using satellite offices to cope with the crunch, said Lt. Sean Moore of the patrol.

Over the years the patrol has expanded along with the area's population, he said, and finding a place to store evidence has become an issue.

News of the move is being welcomed by officials in Weldon Spring, where the headquarters will be situated.

Weldon Spring Mayor Don Licklider said state officials had a contract on a heavily wooded 2-acre lot and were planning to combine it with another 2 acres that the Missouri Department of Transportation bought as part of the Highway 40 improvement project.

The patrol estimates that the new facility will be twice that of the current 20,720-square-foot building, he said.

Moore said the plans were in a very preliminary stage. No designs have been drawn up yet, but $6.1 million had been set aside for the project, he said.

The Highway Patrol facility is the latest development in the area's bustling Highway 40 corridor. A Mercedes-Benz dealership opened there in June, and BJC's Progress West Health Care Center is scheduled to open early next year. Enterprise Leasing also will open a new building next spring, which will house 600 to 700 people.

Licklider said he hoped the plans would spur construction of a westbound ramp onto Highway 40, adding that the area was fast becoming the business hub of Weldon Spring. | 636-255-7210