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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Temple Construction Progress Report

Here, as promised at the end of the last post, is an update to my temple construction progress report in light of the developments I just reported. Something additional to note, if I have not done so already: The official page on the Church website that shares information on the Memphis Tennessee Temple has reported that the official date for that temple's renovation closure will be September 29 (I am assuming at the end of the day). Before, all we knew was that the closure of that temple would be sometime in October. I feel confident that in the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will likewise have more exact closure dates for the other 5 temples now scheduled for renovation. As always, I am doing my best to stay on top of all temple-related developments and will try my best to pass those along as I become aware of them. In the meantime, the updated report follows. Please let me know if you have any feedback for me. Thanks.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 5/14/17)

NOTE: There will be a total of 182 operating temples once all of those announced, under construction, or undergoing renovation. Of those, we currently have 155 temples in operation; 1 is preparing for its dedication in 8 days; 1 other will begin accepting reservations for its open house starting tomorrow; 2 more have construction concluding and a dedication scheduled for later this year; 9 are under construction right now; 1 other has construction pending (groundbreaking was last year), and will commence construction ASAP; operating temple has open house tours underway prior to its already scheduled rededication in three weeks; 2 others are undergoing renovation; 6 more will close for renovations already scheduled (with all of those closures happening within the next 10 months or less); and the remaining 13 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending)

NOTE: I learned late yesterday that there is a possibility we could see more groundbreakings later this year. I will be keeping my eyes open for any developments in that regard and will post those as I hear of them. For now, this is a correction from what I had previously reported.

Preparing for dedication:
156. Paris France Temple: Preparing for dedication (which is scheduled for Sunday May 21, 2017.)

Construction concluding; preparing to accept reservations for public open house:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Landscaping nearing completion; interior finish work underway; accepting reservations for public open house starting Monday (open house will run from Saturday June 3-24, Sundays excluded); dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Installation adjustments being made to art glass; interior finish work underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Planting trees and flowers on grounds; interior paint and millwork installation underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.

Under Construction (completion anticipated next year):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Angel Moroni installed on March 25, 2017; Christus and apostle statues installed at visitor’s center; installing art glass; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
161. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Steel roof trusses nearing completion; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
162.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Stone cladding installation underway; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: For the two temples above, they seem to be interchangeable in terms of which one might potentially be completed and dedicated first. I am trying to keep an eye on any and all developments and will adjust these estimates as necessary once more is known.
163. Concepcion Chile Temple: Exterior cladding progressing on north and west walls; hanging drywall and installing moldings; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Pouring upper walls of temple; preparing to set rebar for upper floor of missionary housing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: For the two temples above, they seem to be interchangeable in terms of which one might potentially be completed and dedicated first. I am trying to keep an eye on any and all developments and will adjust these estimates as necessary once more is known.

Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 3 years or less:
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Erecting temple tower walls; completion anticipated sometime during early 2019.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction barrier erected; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: In my mind, since this temple and the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple are slated for completion during the same general timeframe, the fact that work has not begun in earnest on the Canadian temple puts this Brazilian one ahead of Canada’s newest temple. But once construction begins in earnest in Winnipeg, things could change.  I will keep an eye on developments, and will try to make a better estimate when more is known.
168.  Lisbon Portugal Temple: Supporting columns poured for temple foundation; structural framing for upper level of meetinghouse continues; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Excavating for the foundation; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019-early 2020.

Construction pending (anticipated to start anytime):
167. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations, which may start at any time (whenever the aftermath of the awful Canadian winter resolves itself); completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Construction on this temple is expected to begin in earnest anytime. Once it does commence, it is anticipated to take 20 months (1.67 years) before it is dedicated. As noted above in regards to this temple and the Rio temple, since both are slated for completion during the same general timeframe (mid-2019), either could be completed first. I will keep an eye on things and adjust the order if and when necessary once more is known.

Rededication Scheduled; open house underway:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Public open house tours underway; accepting reservations through Saturday May 20 (Sundays excluded); rededication scheduled for Sunday June 4, 2017.
                                                                  
Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to mid-2018.

Renovations Scheduled (all of which will start within the next 10 months or less):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: Renovations of US temples are usually completed more quickly than their international counterparts. With that in mind, along with the official closure date, this strengthens my argument for the completion estimate. As the renovation gets underway, we will know more, and then adjustments can be made ASAP.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: As noted above, US temple renovations are completed sooner than they are elsewhere. But it is also true that temples that simultaneously close for renovation are rarely completed within the same time frame. Therefore, this seems to be a better estimate.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in October 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: Renovations for temples outside the United States always take longer. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to surmise that we will not see a rededication for this temple until after the Washington DC Temple is rededicated.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in November 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As this temple was the most recent among this scheduled renovation group to be dedicated, and as it is another that is projected to have a rededication during 2019, the time-frame above seems most likely for that to happen. It would not surprise me at all to see the Oakland California temple rededicated before this one. Time will tell.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: The renovation for this temple, the oldest of those scheduled for a renovation, is anticipated to be completed in 2019 sometime. The timeframe indicated above therefore seems reasonable, as is also the assumption that this temple will be rededication before the Paraguayan one.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: This temple, the last one currently scheduled for renovation, is anticipated to be completed sometime during 2020. Because we know that US temple renovations are completed more quickly, it is relatively safe to assume that the rededication of this temple will happen sometime prior to that of the Tokyo Japan Temple.

NOTE: With two groundbreakings having taken place so far this year, it is hoped that we might see other announced temples reach that milestone as well before the end of this year. However, wanting to be as conservative as I am able to be in this estimate, I have only listed one for now. If anything crosses my radar, I will be happy to make another change.

Announced:
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated later this year; groundbreaking may follow shortly thereafter.
NOTE: During the weekend of May 12-14, I received more feedback from several individuals about the near-future possibilities for temples to have a groundbreaking. The updated information has led me to conclude that it is not unreasonable to assume we will have a groundbreaking for this temple shortly after its announcement, even when considering that groundbreakings usually follow site announcements by a year or so. It is highly probable that this groundbreaking could take place any time during mid-to-late 2017. If a site is announced within the next two months (which is highly probable in view of Elder Kevin S. Hamilton’s statement made last year that a groundbreaking would shortly follow a site announcement), the groundbreaking could take place in late August or early September, which would be round about the time when weather warms up in Zimbabwe. And in thinking about things more thoroughly, I have felt to venture Saturday August 26 as the specific date, with the understanding that this date is more likely than not to be adjusted once more is known.
171. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Planning and approval phase; groundbreaking pending.
NOTE: Among new information I learned this weekend is that this groundbreaking might happen sooner than anticipated. It is therefore not unreasonable to believe that this groundbreaking could happen anytime during mid-to-late 2017. Weather will naturally be a factor in that as well. Since a site is confirmed already, that groundbreaking could take place during mid-to-late September, and I have felt to venture a specific date of Saturday September 16. Once more is known, I will adjust this estimate.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement.
NOTE: As noted above, new information indicates that we could possibly see a groundbreaking for this temple any time this year, though some have indicated that next year is more likely. It could very well be that such a groundbreaking could take place in late October or early November, unless it is pushed back to sometime next year. With what is known at the moment, it seems possible to venture Saturday October 14 as that potential groundbreaking date, particularly in light of the fact that the October General Conference will be held the second-to-last and last Saturdays of September and on October 1. Adjustments will, of course, be altered as more information comes to light.
173. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: A report noted on the LDS Church Temples website indicates that the contractor (the same one who is working on the Arequipa Peru Temple project) needed roughly a year to design the site plan. What has yet to be clarified is whether or not that period of time has already come and gone. If that contract has been working on it since this temple was announced in April 2016, then the year is just about up. Until I clarify things, I feel safe in venturing Saturday December 2 as a potential groundbreaking date, with the understanding that when more is known, that is likely to change.
174. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed.
NOTE: Knowing that this site has been confirmed by local priesthood leaders (it is located in the northern section of the city, near an arm of Paranoa Lake), we also know that a site confirmation is the hardest part of getting a temple built. Unless the site changes, it is becoming increasingly more likely that a groundbreaking will be held sometime during early-to-mid 2018. If the groundbreaking happens during that time, it will mark the first time in almost 20 years that the Church has had three temples simultaneously under construction in Brazil. I am keeping an eye on developments with this temple and will adjust this estimate as needed.
175. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official name announcement.
NOTE: Unless problems arise, the site identified by the Church’s Philippines Facebook page (on the southern side of the Manila metropolitan area in Alabang, Muntinlupa City) will more than likely be the official site. As finding a site is the most complex part of getting a temple built, it is very possible that we might see a groundbreaking for this temple by early-to-mid 2018. If the groundbreaking takes place during this time, then we would have two temples simultaneously under construction in the Philippines for the very first time in Church history. It is also anticipated that the Church will announce an official name for this temple in the very near future, as the name for the second Lima Peru Temple was announced within a month after the temple announcement. As with everything else, I am keeping an eye out for developments and will provide updated information when more is known.
175. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation.
NOTE: A probable site has been identified but not yet confirmed. The LDS Church Temples site noted on May 12, 2017 a statement by Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Temple Department Executive Director, that this temple is anticipated to be a larger edifice in the mold of the temple that will be dedicated later this year in Meridian. Once more is known officially regarding the site, it will be easier to make an adjustment as to how soon the groundbreaking might take place and how long construction might subsequently take. If it is true that this temple will be similar to Meridian, we might not see a groundbreaking any sooner than mid-to-late 2018. That said, I also recognize fully that temples in the US have typically always commenced construction faster than their counterparts outside the US, so it would not surprise me if this groundbreaking happened sooner than that. As always, I am keeping an eye on developments, and I will adjust this estimate as I am able to do so once more is known.
176. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While it is true that temples in the United States (and particularly those in Utah County) get started much more quickly than temples elsewhere, it is also true that an official site confirmation is still pending. We do know, as previously noted, that the Church owns several plots of land in this city, so if one of them is chosen as the site, the groundbreaking could happen shortly thereafter. Until more is known, it seems wise to adjust my previous estimate for a groundbreaking to sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
177. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: As previously noted in other versions of this construction progress report, member speculation is that an existing building might be renovated and repurposed as Thailand’s first temple and also house Church offices and a meetinghouse as well. If that speculation is confirmed anytime soon, we might see a groundbreaking shortly after. In the meantime, it might be best to revise my previous estimate and say that a groundbreaking could take place in mid-to-late 2018. More to come once more is known.
179. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: The Church has seen substantial growth on the African continent in recent years. This is verified by the fact that, with the announcement of the 12 temples over the last three years during April General Conference, 3 (25%) of those have been in Africa. I would therefore hope that this temple, announced in 2015, would not have to wait too long for a groundbreaking, but I could see it happening sometime during early 2019, if not before.
180. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: While the first temple in Ecuador had a 14-year delay between its announcement and the subsequent groundbreaking (the second-longest such period in Church history), this temple is not nearly as likely to see such delays. The Church in South America has grown at an astonishing rate, and that is evidenced by the fact that 4 of the 12 temples announced most recently (25%) have been for South America. With the temples above most likely to have a groundbreaking first, it is very possible that we could see a groundbreaking for this time sometime during mid-2019, if not before.
181. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: South America, as noted above, has been very receptive to the gospel. As a result, more temples are coming to that continent. And while this temple has not yet had a site identified or confirmed, Brazilian temples typically have been built very swiftly. While I am hoping to see it sooner, and while I will be happy to adjust my estimate going forward if that is necessary, it seems wise for the moment to revise my estimate and say that we could see a groundbreaking during mid-2019, which would ensure that we will have at least two temples under construction in Brazil at least for the next couple of years. I will revise my estimate if and when I am able to do so.
182. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement.
NOTE: It is becoming increasingly more likely that this African temple might be the last of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking. That said, with the Church growth that is occurring on the African continent, and with temples having gone up fairly quickly once a site is identified, I will revise my previous estimate and say that we will likely see a groundbreaking for this temple sometime during mid-to-late 2019.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements are possible at any time, but the last twelve announcements have taken place during the April General Conference. I never want to rule out the possibility of announcements at other times, but that has been the pattern for the last three years. There have also been reports of several cities that have had a site purchased for a while now, and where an announcement might happen at any time. I know of at least five that have been identified to me by name: Managua Nicaragua, Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana. If other potential temples have had a site purchased, they have yet to be identified as such. The following temples have been publicly proposed by apostles at various and sundry times:  New Delhi India (in June 1992 by Elder Neal A. Maxwell; may not happen soon due to intense political and religious obstacles); Vilnius Lithuania (in May 1993 by Elder M. Russell Ballard, which may be more of a long-shot possibility); Maracaibo Venezuela (in August 1999 by President Hinckley, which is just waiting for the right conditions); Singapore (in January 2000 by President Hinckley, and is likely to be announced when the time is right); for the Southwest Salt Lake Valley (in October 2005 by President Hinckley; NOTE: While some contend that this temple announcement has already happened, verifiable sources widely available prove otherwise. A site is being held in reserve for that temple, and that location will be announced when membership and temple activity warrant that announcement); Managua Nicaragua (in January 2012 by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson; very likely at any time due to Nicaragua being the #1 of the top ten world countries without a temple); Missoula Montana (sometime in 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar during a stake conference in the area; while the report of this proposal has yet to be verified, the fact that there has been a purchase of a temple site seems to indicate that it is a most imminent possibility, though perhaps not as imminent as I once believed); and for the Kasai Region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in February 2016 by Elder Neil L. Andersen). There are likely several other sites that the Church has purchased for a potential temple, but those have yet to be verified.
                                                                                                           
Key:
Bolded numbers and text denote temples whose numbers already exists (for renovations), or is certain due to a scheduled dedication, as well as information that is certain, such as dedication or groundbreaking dates.
Italicized numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on the order in which future dedications and groundbreakings are scheduled.
Uzxnderlined numbers and text denote temples whose numbers may change based on progress towards planning, approval, and groundbreaking.
Red text highlights changes from the last posted temple progress report. 

BREAKING NEWS: Potential Temple Developments in 2017

Hello, all! Over the weekend, I have done more study about temples and temple-related developments. After hearing similar reports from several different sources, I am posting with a report of some potential game-changing and certainly breaking news: It is entirely possible that we could see as many as four additional temple groundbreakings this year, if not more than that. Having said that, I now offer somewhat of a disclaimer before sharing the details: nothing is set in stone yet, and the timing of every temple-related development is up to the Lord and His Church leaders to decide. Until a formal announcement is made confirming such details, they may be nothing more than my own personal hopes and the hopes of those who reported this information to me.

That being said, the odds are very good of at least one or two more groundbreakings, even if not all four take place by the end of the year. But here are the top contenders:
1. The Harare Zimbabwe Temple (which, as we know, is anticipated to have a groundbreaking in fairly short order after a site is announced, and the new information I have received leads me to conclude that that site announcement could happen anytime within the next two or three months).
2. The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple (which had a site confirmed in March of this year).
3. The Urdaneta Philippines Temple (where delays are over and all that is standing in the way of a groundbreaking is a site announcement, which could happen at any time).
4. The Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple (of which the LDS Church Temples site reported this weekend that the contractor working on the Arequipa Peru project is also working on the second temple for the Peruvian capital city. An additional note on this temple: that contractor stated in a recent interview that it would take a year to put together the plan for the site and the associated buildings on the projects. While it is unclear whether that was one year from the announcement (which, as we know, was made last April) or one year from today, there is reason enough to believe that this groundbreaking could happen sooner rather than later.

Whether or not any or all of these groundbreakings happen by the end of this year remains to be seen. For now, what we do know was sufficient grounds enough for me to feel confident passing these developments on. In the coming days, I will be keeping an eye out for further developments on all temple news fronts. For the moment, the purpose of this post is to pass along the news of this potential possibility. As the rest of the year goes by, time will tell how accurate (or not) these developments might prove to be. In the meantime, I felt it only fitting and proper to pass this along. Other posts that I am working on as a follow-up to this one will come as time and circumstances allow. And in addition to a temple construction progress update and another update to my estimated timeline for further temple-related events, I also hope to post this week an update about the latest apostolic statistics. Stay tuned for all of those. In the meantime, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thanks to you all for your ongoing interest and support.