Taylorsville, Orem Residents React To Temple Site Locations
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – Several residents in Salt Lake and Utah Counties said they were excited about the announced locations for the Taylorsville and Orem temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The temples themselves were already announced, but the exact sites were released to the public Wednesday.
“It’s just fun to see the growth,” said Joe Grange.
He was one of many who stopped by the Taylorsville Utah Valley Park Stake Center, where the new Taylorsville Utah Temple will be built.
“We’ve been temple workers, and so we know what goes on inside temples – so that means a lot to us,” said Erv Burkhardt, who also pulled over to take a look at the site.
The stake center, located at 2603 West 4500 South, was built in 1958. It sits on 7.5 acres, and will be demolished to make room for the new temple. Church leaders said the meeting house would not be rebuilt.
Joann Hagen, who lives across the street, said she doesn’t mind the change.
“Instead of walking to church, we’ll walk to the temple. We don’t know where our new church is going to be, but we’re so excited,” Hagen said.
There were no immediate details available on where church services would be relocated.
A press release sent out by representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints explained, “Groundbreaking dates have not been set. Project leaders will soon start working with city officials in these locations on preliminary plans for the temples, and leaders will begin filing public documents in coming months.”
The excitement among Utah County residents was similar.
“It’s amazing how when they build a temple, property values and the kindness and joy and everything else around it grows,” said Kenyon Bitter, who was one of several who scoped out the site where the Orem Utah Temple will be built.
The new temple will be located near 1471 South Geneva Road, on the west side of Interstate 15. The 16-acre lot sits right next door to Ed Nelson’s home.
“No one ever thought there would be a temple here,” said Nelson.
According to a Church spokesperson, there are 529,000 church members who live in Utah County, making up approximately 85 percent of the population.
The new Orem temple is expected to serve residents in booming communities like Vineyard, which according to the U.S. Census saw an explosion from 139 residents in 2010, to over 10,000 in 2018.
Stephen Nickle, who moved to Vineyard five years ago, said there is a large need for another temple in the area.
“There is a lot of emphasis on the entire world, which is great and appropriate. The Saints all over the world need the temple, but the people right here in my home also need the temple. The temples are being used everyday to capacity,” Nickle said. “The work is growing right here, too.”
The Orem Utah Temple will only be about 5 miles from either the Provo or the Provo City Center temples. Church leaders said a new meetinghouse will also be built at the site.
“It’s the fifth one in Utah County and they already have one in Saratoga Springs,” said Tim Holley who also stopped by to look at the new construction site.
The six temples in Utah County include, Provo, Provo City Center, Mount Timpanogos, Payson, Saratoga Springs, and the new Orem temple. In total, there will be 23 temples in Utah, with 17 currently operating.
While construction plans continue to unfold, some residents expressed concerns over traffic.
“What will it do for this road, and for the traffic, and bringing people who don’t live here down these streets,” said Holley.
Nelson also shared in on those concerns. Geneva Road is currently a one-way road in each direction.
“It will be interesting for the neighborhood. We are going to have a lot of traffic,” he said.
Both temples were announced as 70,000 square foot, three-story high structures, with a center spire.
They were announced during the October 2019 General Conference, along with 6 other temples in: Freetown, Sierra Leone; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinena; Bentonville, Arkansas; Bacolod, Phililppines; McAllen, Texas; and Coban, Guatemala.
The location of the McAllen Texas temple was also announced on Wednesday. It will be located on at 10.6 acre site on the northwest corner of Second Street and West Trenton Road.