The ever familiar Melvin J. Ballard Building, located at the Missionary Training Center, is expected to be razed in early 2012 to make way for a new and improved building that will aid in missionary training. The building will be completed by Fall 2013.
“The existing building was in need of significant upgrades making the construction of a new building a better option,” said Scott Trotter, LDS Church spokesman.
An LDS news release said the demolition will allow state-of-the-art improvements to be made and for a building to be equipped with technological resources for missionaries to use.
According to the Provo City Planning Commission Planning Report, the new construction, which is one part of a 10-year remodeling project, will almost quadruple the building’s size, expanding from the existing 12,540 feet to 40,455 feet. The building will consolidate medical care and mail delivery/distribution services.
The Ballard Building is familiar to many visitors who have frequented its walls. The old building currently houses the popular MTC mail room which is visited at least twice a day by some 4,000 missionaries, the MTC Bookstore, the Training Resource Center (TRC) and four rooms used for large group-meetings.
Many people are saddened by the news of the replacement of the Ballard Building including Beau Thompson, a senior from of Maui, Hawaii, and a zone coordinator at the MTC.
“It makes me sad as memories will go,” said Thompson. “It also makes me worried because I don’t know how they are going to control the traffic of missionaries with the new bookstore.”
Although the construction will take place near residential areas, the LDS Church’s news release said no adverse impact is anticipated for the surrounding neighborhoods throughout the construction process.