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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Temple Construction Progress Update

Hello again, everyone! Hope you all are well. I began writing this post yesterday, but had to wait to finish it until today, due to some health issues that needed to be taken care of. With today marking the last day of August, we know that the Memphis Tennessee and Tokyo Japan Temples will officially close for their renovations in just under a month.

As previously noted, the Memphis renovation will change both the interior and exterior appearance of that temple. In the meantime, the Tokyo renovation will mostly involve upgrading the electrical and mechanical systems of the temple. Additionally, we also know that, as previously announced, the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple renovation is set to begin on October 14, and that the Asuncion Paraguay Temple will officially close just over two weeks later, on October 29, which will, as we know, be the day after the Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple groundbreaking.

There are also five other temples that are set to close next year. While it is true that we do not yet have any information on the exact dates of those five closures, and that we do not have any solid information about how extensive these renovations will wind up being, what we do know is that, among those five, three of them are older temples, and the stated purpose of those renovations are to have their electrical and mechanical systems upgraded.

In the meantime, there have been significant developments with several temples that I wanted to share as contained in the newest version of my report on temple construction progress. That report follows. Any comments continue to be welcome and appreciated, In the meantime, thank you for the privilege of your time, and may the Lord be with you all until I post again. Until that time, I wish each and every one of you all the best.

Temple Construction Progress (current as of 8/31/17)

NOTE ABOUT FUTURE TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: As referenced in previous version of this report, Elder Larry Y. Wilson, the Temple Department Executive Director, stated in an interview given as the open house for the newly renovated Idaho Falls Idaho Temple got underway that the Church currently has around 80 sites under consideration for a subsequent announcement within the next 15 years. While some, if not at least a majority, of those 80 sites will make it to a subsequent announcement, it is significant to think about. That would put the number of temples in any phase at around 260 or so in 2032. It is not hard to believe, therefore, that whether or not the Church makes an official goal to do so, we could see a minimum of 200 operating temples by or before the bicentennial (200th ) anniversary of the restoration of the Church (which will take place on Saturday April 6, 2030. With the Church only having to announce 18 additional temples and completing the other 25 in any phase, all it would take to reach that milestone is for 3-4 temples being dedicated in each one of the 12.66 years between now and then, which works out to 3 or 4 temples that will need to be dedicated each year. Since the Church will be maintaining at least that average amount for the next 3 years at minimum, it seems very feasible. For my part, I will be keeping my eyes open for any developments and will pass such news along as I hear of it.

CURRENT TEMPLE STATUS: The Church has 182 temples in any phase. There are 157 operating temples, with 2 more that have construction wrapping up prior to their already scheduled dedications later this year. There are additionally 9 others are in various construction phases and 1 more that had a groundbreaking last year, with full-scale construction anticipated in the very near future (hopefully before the end of this year). 1 other has a groundbreaking scheduled (which will take place in just under 2 months. Of the temples that have been, are now, and will shortly be undergoing renovations, we have 1 that has a rededication scheduled (for the middle of next year), while 1 other is undergoing renovation (with completion anticipated sometime in either late summer or early fall next year), and another 4 have had their closure dates set before the end of this year, in addition to 5 others that we know will be closing early next year (the actual dates for each of those will be set closer to the time). The remaining 12 are announced (with either a site announcement or groundbreaking pending).

Construction nearing completion; dedication scheduled:
158. Meridian Idaho Temple: Finalizing landscaping and interior work; open house reservations
will be accepted beginning on Monday September 25, 2017 (the open house will run for the three weeks between the Saturdays of October 21 and November 11, except for the obvious exclusion of the relevant Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017.
159. Cedar City Utah Temple: Hanging interior light fixtures; installing art glass; open house reservations will be accepted beginning Monday October 2, 2017 (the open house will run for just over three weeks: between the Saturdays of October 21 and November 11, with the obvious exclusion of the relevant Sundays); dedication scheduled for Sunday December 10, 2017.
NOTE: As noted on the last version of this report published on this blog, it appears that the work of landscaping for the temple grounds has concluded, signifying that this temple is that much closer to its dedication.

                                                      
Under Construction (completion anticipated within the next 1-2 years):
160. Rome Italy Temple: Interior and exterior work progressing; construction office trailers donated to community organizations; office space relocated to patron housing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: In view of the plans announced to rededicate the Jordan River Temple, and because this temple has progressed more consistently than the Frankfurt Germany Temple, it is my feeling that this temple will be dedicated at some point before the annual July recess of the General Authorities. If I receive information that changes that belief, I will be sure to pass it along.
161. Concepcion Chile Temple: Cladding progressing on tower and east and west walls; decorative fence installation underway; hanging doors and installing millwork inside; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: This temple has moved up and down on this list a great deal since its groundbreaking in mid-October 2015 by Elder Walter F. Gonzalez. In the temple construction progress report I posted two days ago, this temple had been anticipated to be the third temple dedicated this year. I was very much surprised and gratified to find that this temple would likely be finished sooner than expected.
162. Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple: Roof decking attached; baptismal font concrete to be repoured; searching for landscaping palm trees; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
163.  Barranquilla Colombia Temple: Pouring concrete curbing and walkways; preparing to clad tower; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018.
164. Durban South Africa Temple: Temple roof slab poured; brickwork continues at missionary housing; waterproofing and backfilling entrance buildings; completion anticipated sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: Further general study on my part on traditional timeframes for construction has shown that, barring anything unexpected, this temple will more than likely be dedicated closer to the end of 2018 than the beginning of 2019. If anything changes my thoughts in that regard, I will be sure to pass that update along.

Under construction, completion anticipated within the next 2-3 years:  
165. Fortaleza Brazil Temple: Applying waterproofing membrane to temple exterior walls; meetinghouse exterior walls rising; completion anticipated sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: If, as noted above, the Durban South Africa Temple is indeed dedicated before the end of 2018, then it is more than likely, in my opinion, that we will likewise see this temple dedicated closer to early 2019 than the middle of it. I will pass along any changes to that line of thought.
166. Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple: Construction underway on temple substructure; completion anticipated sometime during mid-2019.
NOTE: While it was once thought by many, myself included, that this temple and the one set to rise in Winnipeg Manitoba could be interchangeable in terms of their likely future completion estimates, the subsequent lack of progress in Winnipeg has solidified my opinion that this temple, and the two below, may be finished well in advance of the one in Winnipeg. If my thoughts in this regard change, I will note that in future versions of this report.
167. Lisbon Portugal Temple: Preparing to pour main floor slab of temple; meetinghouse cladding progressing; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While most sources available to me have indicated that the Lisbon temple will be dedicated closer to the end of the year than the middle of it, I also know that the unexpected can happen and almost always does. That said, I will be keeping an eye out for any and all developments on this front and will pass along any updates.
168. Arequipa Peru Temple: Setting rebar for second floor structural walls; completion anticipated sometime during late 2019.
NOTE: While this temple has continued to make steady and significant progress, the temple for Winnipeg, which will, by comparison, be significantly smaller, has not been able to see full-scale construction begin. Therefore, it is very likely indeed that 

Construction pending:
169. Winnipeg Manitoba Temple: Groundbreaking held Saturday December 3, 2016; awaiting full-scale operations; acquiring building permits; completion anticipated sometime between late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: As previously noted, once full-scale construction begins on this temple, because it is a somewhat smaller edifice (being built to currently serve just the one stake in Manitoba for now), construction is anticipated to take roughly 20 months. With that in mind, this temple will need to have full scale construction begin by no later than April or May of next year in order for it to be completed on the very latest side of this estimate. As always, once more is known, I will pass that along.

Groundbreaking scheduled:
170. Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple: Ground being cleared; preparing for groundbreaking ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday October 28, 2017; completion anticipated sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: Barring anything unexpected, full-scale construction on this temple is anticipated to begin on the Monday following its groundbreaking. Also, because this temple is anticipated to be somewhat comparable in size and design to the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo, construction is anticipated to last for around 2 years and 7 months or so, which is 1.5 years shorter than the construction of the only other temple in the Caribbean Area, the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple was (as the construction process for that temple took 4 years and 1 month).

Scheduled for rededication:
20. Jordan River Utah Temple: Closed for renovation; rededication scheduled for Sunday May 20, 2018.

Undergoing Renovation (rededication anticipated within the next year or so):
41. Frankfurt Germany Temple: Closed for renovation; roof slab poured for basement addition; rededication anticipated sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: This temple appears to be on track to be dedicated sometime after both the rededication of the Jordan River Utah Temple and the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple. Once more is known about how soon that might be, I will pass the information along.

Renovations Scheduled (official closure dates announced):
80. Memphis Tennessee Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As mentioned in previous versions of this report, all that is known about the renovation process for this temple is that it will alter both the interior and exterior appearance of it. While my study of the prospects for expansion of temples scheduled for renovation is ongoing, I learned in the last month that it may not be as likely as I thought that this temple’s renovation will involve an expansion. Once more is known, I will pass that along. Either way, the renovation begins in just under a month.
18. Tokyo Japan Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on September 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2020.
NOTE: As previously mentioned, the stated purpose for this temple’s renovation is to bring electrical and mechanical systems up to date and up to code. While it is a smaller temple from the Kimball era, an expansion does not seem likely for this temple.
95. Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 14, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As noted above on the Memphis temple, an expansion does not seem likely for this temple either. If I find information that suggests that is part of the plan, I will pass it along.
112. Asuncion Paraguay Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation on October 29, 2017; rededication may take place sometime during early-to-mid 2019.
NOTE: As this temple is the most recently dedicated of those scheduled for renovation, it is anticipated that the renovation process will be swifter. As mentioned above on both the Memphis and Oklahoma City temples, an expansion of this temple does not seem likely. Once more is known, I will pass that along.

Temples that have a renovation closure announced, but no official date made known yet:
68. Raleigh North Carolina Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in January 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: While a closure date has not yet been announced for this temple, it is possible that the closure could happen within the last week of 2017. In the meantime, as noted above on temples that will close in 2017, and based on feedback I received from a contact in North Carolina, an expansion for this temple does not seem to be in the plans. If I find information that changes my thinking on that, I will be sure to pass it along.
94. Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: This temple is listed above the Oakland one for now because they are in alphabetical order. Whenever a more precise closure date is known for either, I will pass that along. For now, as noted on other temples scheduled for renovation, I don’t know how likely it is that this temple could be expanded. Once I know more, I will pass that along as well.
13. Oakland California Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in February 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: When the renovation closure for this temple was announced, the Church stated it was necessary because the electrical and mechanical systems needed to be brought up-to-date. So it seems doubtful that anything else will be done during this renovation. Once we know more about what will be involved (including the exact closure date), I will pass that along.
16. Washington D. C. Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in March 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: The stated purpose for this temple’s renovation is to bring electrical and mechanical systems up-to-date. Because this temple is larger than both the Tokyo Japan and Mesa Arizona Temples, I am estimating that it will be the last of the bunch to be rededicated. Once more is known about this process (including an exact closure date), I will pass that along.
7. Mesa Arizona Temple: Scheduled to close for renovation in May 2018; rededication may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2020.
NOTE: As previously noted, the stated purpose for this temple’s renovation is to bring electrical and mechanical systems up-to-date. And since this is the second time this temple has been renovated, it seems likely that it could be the first temple to be rededicated in 2020. As the process unfolds and more is known about its progress, I will pass along any adjustments to this line of thought.

NOTE ON FUTURE GROUNDBREAKINGS: During the month of July, I revised the order in which temples in this section were listed. About a week after doing so, I found out that I needed to revise and rethink that order again. The current order reflects the latest information I have (as of the late night hours of July 18). I should also note that the timing of any temple event is up to the Lord (based on conditions in each area), so these estimates should not in any way be taken as gospel or official until they are confirmed or denied by those who have the authorization to do so.

Announced:
171. Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple: Planning and preliminary construction phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: If the information I have received about this temple and its progress is correct, the year of preconstruction which the contractor for this temple mentioned was needed prior to its groundbreaking began in March 2017. While there has been no evidence to corroborate that this process has indeed begun, it seemed to be enough for me to move this temple below Haiti’s first. Some have said that the surprise announcement of the Port-au-Prince groundbreaking may mean we could have other temples that will have a groundbreaking by the end of this year. But if that doesn’t happen, I think it is safe to assume and to assert that this temple will be the first to have a groundbreaking next year, and that it will happen sooner rather than later.
172. Urdaneta Philippines Temple: Planning and approval phase; awaiting government approval and official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place sometime during early-to-mid 2018.
NOTE: While numerous delays prevented this temple from making any progress since its announcement almost seven years ago, those delays are at an end. Since it seems likely that the Lima Peru Los Olivos Temple will be the next one to have a groundbreaking (either before the end of this year or during the first part of next year), it seems logical to assume that this temple could follow shortly thereafter. More to come once more is known.
173. Harare Zimbabwe Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking could take place during mid-2018.
NOTE: As previously noted, shortly after this temple was announced in April 2016, Elder Hamilton made a statement that indicated a site announcement and groundbreaking would follow for this temple in short order once 2017 began. Nearly eight months of 2017 have come and gone with nothing new happening for this temple. For that reason, it seems safe to assume that it will be the third temple of this announced group to have a groundbreaking. While some have said it could happen by the end of this year, it seems more likely that it will not take place until the middle of next year at earliest. If my thinking in that regard changes, I will pass that along.
174. Saratoga Springs Utah: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-2018.
NOTE: When I was encouraged to take another look at the order in which announced temples could have a subsequent groundbreaking, I felt impressed to find out, on average, how long it has taken for temples in Utah County to get from announcement to groundbreaking. Based on that average, it seems likely that, if a site is announced for it soon, this temple could have a groundbreaking at the time indicated above, and perhaps well ahead of the other temples listed below. If my thinking on that changes, I will pass it along.
175. Brasilia Brazil Temple: Planning phase; site inspected by Church engineers on June 21, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: Even though this temple has already had a site identified, and that site has been inspected by Church engineers, over the course of the last several months, I have done considerable study on when announced temples have gone on to have a groundbreaking. And that study, combined with valuable feedback from experts on this subject, has led me to believe that this temple’s groundbreaking is more likely to happen towards the middle or end of 2018 than the beginning of it, especially because other temples are almost certain to have a groundbreaking first. I will continue to pass along any updates to this line of thought and reasoning.
176. Greater Manila Philippines Temple: Planning phase; site confirmed; awaiting official name announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2018.
NOTE: The note on the temple above applies to this temple as well. Though it has had a site confirmed already, because other temples are almost certain to have a groundbreaking prior to this one, it has felt wise to push this estimate back. In the meantime, we could also hear any day an announcement about the name for this second temple for the capital city of the Philippines. As more information is released, I will pass that along.
177. Pocatello Idaho: Planning phase; awaiting site confirmation; groundbreaking may take place sometime during late 2018-early 2019.
NOTE: Two potential locations have been noted as potential locations for this temple site. Until a site confirmation happens, a groundbreaking time-frame may be hard to pin down. However, Idaho is well within the “Mormon corridor (of which Arizona and Utah are also a part), and temples in that area generally get built relatively easily and quickly. That said, as previously noted, I have felt it wise to push the estimate for this temple’s groundbreaking back to this point because the temples above seem more likely to have a groundbreaking prior to this one. That said, there could be an equal chance that this temple could have a groundbreaking in either late 2018 or early 2019. I will pass along updates as I learn of them.
178. Nairobi Kenya Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; media event held June 14, 2017; groundbreaking may take place sometime during early 2019.
NOTE: I was pleased to hear of the media event held for this temple two months ago. During that event, Elder Joseph W. Sitati, the first GA Seventy from Kenya, mentioned that it usually takes a year or two after temple announcements for a groundbreaking to happen. Given that statement and the fact that the temples listed above this one will likely have a groundbreaking first, it seemed wise to adjust my estimate. If my thinking on this changes, I will pass that along.
179. Bangkok Thailand Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-2019.
NOTE: As noted previously, some Thai members and other members familiar with that country have speculated that an existing Church office building (owned since 2008) will be reconstructed into an edifice that not only houses Church offices, but the temple and a meetinghouse as well, similar in concept to the temples in Hong Kong China and Manhattan New York. If that is confirmed within the next year or so, I could see a groundbreaking happen at around this time. I will pass along any updates on this as I receive them.
180. Abidjan Ivory Coast Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place sometime during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Growth trends in the Ivory Coast have led some to speculate that a second (and even a third) Ivory Coast temple could be among the 80 referenced above. Regarding this temple, until more is known about it, this estimate seems wise.
181. Quito Ecuador Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during mid-to-late 2019.
NOTE: Even though Ecuador’s first temple had a 14-year wait between its site announcement and groundbreaking, the growth of the Church in South America has been a clear indicator that the Church won’t have to wait that long for this groundbreaking. Because of the others listed above that are expected to have a groundbreaking first, it seems likely that the time-frame above will be likely for this temple’s groundbreaking. As always, I will adjust this as more becomes known.
182. Belem Brazil Temple: Planning phase; awaiting official site announcement; groundbreaking may take place during late 2019-early 2020.
NOTE: While it seems almost certain that the Brasilia Brazil Temple will have a groundbreaking sooner than this one (as we still do not know where in Belem this temple will be built), what is not known is whether this temple will indeed be the last of the current bunch to have a groundbreaking. As progress is made on temples in the next year or so, hopefully that will be cleared up. And, as always, I will continue to pass along updates and changes to this line of thinking.

ADDITIONAL GENERAL NOTE: Temple announcements within the last three years have come during the April General Conference. They may happen at any time the First Presidency feels inspired to make them, but that has been the pattern since 2015. Also, as noted above, Elder Larry Y. Wilson said in an interview recently that 80 temple sites are under consideration for an announcement within the next 15 years. So we could be entering another unprecedented era of temple announcements and construction. That is one big reason why I have expanded my list of temples that may potentially be announced. I also know that sites have been procured for future temples in Managua Nicaragua (which seems most likely, as it is the first of the top ten countries with the strongest LDS presence that does not yet have a temple, and such a temple was proposed by Elder Nelson in 2012), Auckland New Zealand, Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Bentonville Arkansas, and Missoula Montana (which was proposed by Elder Bednar sometime in 2014). I have been told by many that an official announcement will happen once unit growth and activity in temples within such areas warrants those announcements. If there have been any other sites purchased elsewhere, they have not yet been made known. We also know that several potential temples have been proposed in several locations around the world by many of our prophets and apostles. The Lord will continue to inspire such temple announcements as they are needed, and all developments will continue to be included on subsequent versions of this report.
                                                                                                           
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.