The Scout office - which has been in Provo for 40 years - is crossing the road into Orem without financial assistance next year, taking the business of 57,147 Boy Scouts with it.

A new spacious $1.7 million Scout Service Center is going in at 400 North and 1200 West, replacing the service center currently at 250 W. 500 N. in Provo.Director of Field Services Ronald E. Nyman said the move is based on finding more space with easy access and not on any dissatisfaction with doing business in Provo. He said Orem did not offer any incentives to sway their decision to move, either.

"We simply went shopping, and this is the piece of property we came up with," Nyman said. "We looked at sites from American Fork to Provo."

The new Scout Service Center will be built on three acres purchased by the Scouting organization.

With 16,000 square feet, it will be more than twice as large as the facility that has served as the center in Provo since the 1950s.

Groundbreaking is planned for Monday, April 6, at 11 a.m., and the project is expected to be completed by April 1999.

"When we built the Provo center, we had less than 15,000 Scouts we were serving. We now have 57,000, and we're growing at 3 percent a year," Nyman said. "We've quadrupled the number of units along with that. We have 4,110 units registered in 32 districts."

The building will provide space for offices for the Utah National Parks Council, a retail store and meeting and training areas.

The unfurnished basement will provide an additional 16,000 square feet of space for storage.

It will be wired for online connections to each of the six Utah satellite offices, including Price, Vernal, Richfield, St. George, Cedar City and Ephriam as well as to the National Boy Scouts of America office headquartered in Texas.

Nyman said he is most excited about the site. "This is a great location. We've already determined it's easier to come from Payson to Orem than from Payson into Provo, even though it's a longer distance."

According to Alan Bird, President of the Utah National Parks Council, the new service center will provide greater opportunities for Scouts, parents and leaders to meet and be served, trained and tracked as they progress in the Scouting program.

Bird said the new facility will assist the council to reach its goals in accommodating the increasing membership as the council prepares for the challenge of the 21st century.

Out of 332 councils in America, the Utah National Parks Council is the eighth largest in membership and second largest geographically. Its serves all of Utah South of Point of the Mountain as well as the Uintah Basin and parts of northern Arizona and southern Nevada.