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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Big Temple Construction Developments

Hello, all! Hope you are well. There have been some major and very significant developments regarding temple construction, some of them game-changing. In addition to minimal progress on temples currently under construction, the Church finally released the closure dates for the Tokyo Japan and Asuncion Paraguay Temples. Those temples will join the Memphis Tennessee Temple in closing on September 29. This means, at least for the Asuncion Paraguay Temple, it is closing more than a month earlier than originally planned. I am not sure what that might mean in terms of future completion dates for these temples. But I will be keeping an eye out for developments and make  adjustments to my previously posted timeline as needed going forward. I have also done more studying on the situation in Winnipeg, and I herein offer my best guess for when we might see construction start there. As always, more information will be coming once more is known. For now, here's the latest report. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Temple Construction Progress Update (current as of 5/27/17)

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 156 temples in operation;  1 is accepting reservations for its open house; 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 is preparing for its rededication; 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 over the weekend of May 12-15 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.

Construction completed; accepting reservations for public open house:
157. Tucson Arizona Temple: Preparing for open house; reservations will be accepted until June 24 (open house will run from Saturday June 3-24, excluding Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday August 13, 2017.

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Interior finish work underway; dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Exterior lighting test begin; 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 underway on north and east walls; 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: Scaffolding removed from north wall; cladding progressing on west and south walls; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Majority of upper temple walls poured; preparing to pour upper floor of missionary housing; constructing walls for ancillary buildings; 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: Temple foundation work continues; structural framing for upper level of meetinghouse nearing completion; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
169. Arequipa Peru Temple: Tower crane erected; 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. As I have previously noted, this temple is being built to serve just the one stake that now exists in Winnipeg, so it will be a smaller edifice. What I have read about the weather forecast for Winnipeg has me thinking we could see that construction begin in earnest sometime during mid-or-late June (either during June 8-10, when there will be a warm spell, or about a week later, when warm conditions will return to Winnipeg for the rest of the summer. Once that earnest construction does begin, it will take roughly 20 months to complete. So construction is likely to finish sometime during mid-2019, and this temple, weather and construction progress permitting, could be finished prior to the Rio temple.

Preparing for rededication:
8. Idaho Falls Idaho Temple: Preparing for rededication, which is 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.
NOTE: I originally believed and was predicting that the rededication of this temple would be one of the first temple-related events of next year. But as I was recently reminded, it is more difficult to predict a time-frame for such events than it is to predict a probable time-frame for newer temples. I am keeping my eye out for developments on this front, and will be sure to pass along any updates.
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; excavating for basement addition for new baptistry; rededication anticipated sometime during early-to mid-2018.
NOTE: As noted above, a probable time-frame for a temple’s rededication is harder to anticipate than I originally believed. While I personally hope to see this rededication sometime during next summer, time will tell whether or not that is reasonable to anticipate. I will update this information as I find out more.

Renovations Scheduled (all of which will start within the next 10 months or less):
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid-2019.
NOTE: On Saturday May 27, the LDS Church Temples site switched the order of temples scheduled for renovation in light of the official dates being made known. It is interesting to note that this temple, originally said to be closing in November, will close before October starts. But this exact date has made me rethink my estimated timetable for the completion of these renovations. More to come once more is known.
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: Renovations of US temples are usually completed more quickly than their international counterparts. Even so, there is still much that is unknown about how soon any renovation might be completed. For that reason, it seems wise to adjust the previous estimate. More to come once more is known.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: On Saturday May 27, the above-named site made the exact closure date for this temple known. This is a clear indicator that the renovation may be done sooner than anyone expects. What is not so clear is whether or not this temple will be finished prior to the time the one in Washington DC is finished. I still think the temple named for the US capital will be first, but more will come once more is known.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: As noted above regarding the Memphis Tennessee Temple, US temple renovations are generally completed sooner than those done outside the US. We also know that temple renovations started at around the same time are usually staggered in terms of their completion. More to come once more is known.
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 rededicated before the Paraguayan one.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during 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: As mentioned above, last weekend, I learned that we might have as many as 4 temples that could potentially have a groundbreaking later this year. The chances are equally likely that no other groundbreakings will happen during the remainder of this year. As with every other temple-related development, I am doing my best to reevaluate things as more information comes to light, and I will be sure to pass along any updates. In the meantime, this is mostly just my own thoughts and impressions based on what I have learned and observed.

Announced:
170. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Approval and construction preparation phase; official site announcement anticipated later this year; groundbreaking may follow shortly thereafter.
NOTE: Given the statement from Elder Kevin S. Hamilton that a site announcement and subsequent groundbreaking would happen later this year, it is highly probable that we might see a groundbreaking any time during mid-to-late 2017. I could see that site announcement taking place before the annual July recess of the General Authorities, which would put the groundbreaking sometime around late August, during the time when weather warms up in Zimbabwe. While most site announcements precede groundbreakings by at least a few months, Elder Hamilton’s statement has led me 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: This temple, as noted previously, had a site confirmed by Elder Andersen in March of this year. It is therefore entirely likely that a subsequent groundbreaking could take place in mid-to-late 2017, with that announcement likely being made in conjunction with the groundbreaking for the Harare temple. And it seems safe 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: With the delays that halted progress on this temple having finally come to an end, speculation is rampant to the effect that a groundbreaking could take place for this temple later this year, especially if a site is identified soon. It seems entirely possible. If the new information is correct, that is just a matter of time. It could very well be that such a groundbreaking could take place in mid-October, 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 because 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: It was reported early this week that the same contractor who is overseeing the construction of the Arequipa Peru Temple would oversee the construction of this temple as well. He indicated a year would be needed to make plans for the site before any further progress was made. If that year is up by now, it is not unreasonable to believe that a site announcement could precede a groundbreaking in very short order. So it seems entirely possible that a site announcement could happen during mid-to-late 2017, and I am confident enough to venture a groundbreaking date of December 2, which would be right in the middle of the Peruvian summer months. This estimate will be adjusted once more is known. In the meantime, today confirmation came that this second temple for the Peruvian capital city will, as its name implies, be built within the Los Olivos district, in the northern section of that city.
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.
176. 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.
177. 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.
178. 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 two or three 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.
Underlined 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.