The release of the designs for the Provo City Center Temple has residents, students and employees of Provo and surrounding areas eager for the completion of the building.
Provo’s Community Development office received official bid plans for the temple and surrounding grounds from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Church is going to great lengths to preserve the historical nature of the old Provo Tabernacle.
“Upon entering the new temple, its familiarity to the historic tabernacle will be evident,” said David Hall, director of Temple Design Services in the Church’s Special Projects Department.
The temple will have four floors and will be 85,084 square feet. The main entrance will be located on the south side of the building with an additional entrance from the underground parking area, which holds 245 vehicles. The plans reveal that this temple will have elaborate grounds and less surface parking than most other temples.
When the temple was first announced, it was estimated that the Provo City Center Temple would be available for use in early 2015, but that date is not set in stone.
“Excellent progress is being made on the construction, but given the complexity of working with a historic structure, it is still too early in the process to provide a meaningful date,” said Scott Trotter, spokesperson for the LDS Church.
Dixon Holmes, Provo’s deputy mayor of economic development, thinks the temple and the grounds will be a wonderful addition to the community and will benefit everyone.
“We don’t anticipate the temple parking to be a problem in downtown. We are excited about the amount of new traffic this will bring downtown, of which temple patrons may choose to eat or shop while downtown.”
Dan Stubbs, Provo’s chief building official, agreed, saying, “The new temple will increase business activity and add to the downtown experience.”
Holmes anticipates that the historical nature of the entire facility will elevate the quality of the downtown experience.
“People have a history with this building,” he said. “They will want to come see how it fits into downtown. They will discover that there is so much to see and do in downtown that they were not previously aware (of). Not everyone coming to the temple will be going inside. There will be wedding parties, visitors and those who just want a nice, peaceful respite in a busy urban setting.”
Provo City employees aren’t the only ones excited for the completion of the new Provo temple. Students, too feel enthusiasm to attend another temple in Provo.
“It is such a blessing that the temple is coming to that area of Provo,” said Emilie Davis, a human development major from Lehi.
“I’m not worried that people will stop going to the older Provo Temple,” Davis continued. “The Provo City Center Temple will have a sense of coolness because it’s new, so it will be exciting to go there. But I can walk to the older temple, so that is probably where I will continue to attend.”
Due to the historic nature and landscaping plans for the new temple, Stubbs thinks it will be a “great place to hold weddings and enjoy pictures of the grounds.”
Trotter is excited about the prospective weddings to happen at the new temple.
“The historical preservation, interior features and extensive landscaping of the new temple will create a beautiful setting for visitors and temple patrons, including couples being sealed in the temple,” he said.
With the addition of the Provo City Center Temple, Provo City will be the second city with a pair of temples. South Jordan beat Provo to the punch in 2009 with the Oquirrh Mountain and Jordan River temples.
“It is inspired to build a temple out of the ashes of the tabernacle,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said at the new Provo temple’s groundbreaking. “Having two temples within miles of each other is a tribute to you that the Brethren would approve another temple here. That says very much about you.”