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St. George Utah Temple renovation enters 3rd year


Renovation of the St. George Utah Temple — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ longest-operating temple — has passed the two-year mark, with the past year having included the finishing of all primary upgrades to the historic temple.

Drywall finishers — doing a level-five finish, the industry’s highest standard — are prepping the north addition for painting, while beautiful millwork in addition replicates the arched doorways of the historic temple.

Eric Jamison, the Church’s project manager for St. George temple renovations, said he was proud that all teams — contractors, architects and engineers — were “able to collaborate and to make something this challenging work. It’s just an honor to be able to work on a house of the Lord.”

The latest renovation updates — including a five-minute video report — were published Monday, March 28, on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

A taper sands a wall in the north addition of the St. George Utah Temple in preparation for painting in January 2022. The walls in the temple are required to be the highest standard in the construction industry; a level five finish. That means they are the smoothest that can be achieved to match plaster walls found in the historic temple.

A taper sands a wall in the north addition of the St. George Utah Temple in preparation for painting in January 2022. The walls in the temple are required to be the highest standard in the construction industry; a level five finish. That means they are the smoothest that can be achieved to match plaster walls found in the historic temple.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

No finish date has been announced. However, during a one-year update onsite at the renovation site in November 2020, project managers anticipated completion in 2022.

Dedicated in 1877, the iconic temple in southern Utah was renovated nearly four decades earlier and rededicated in November 1975 by President Spencer W. Kimball.

The walkways, planters and landscaping are nearing completion. Drought tolerant shrubbery and trees are ready for an early spring planting, St George, Utah, November 2021.

The walkways, planters and landscaping are nearing completion. Drought tolerant shrubbery and trees are ready for an early spring planting, St George, Utah, November 2021.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The current project was announced in May 2019, with renovation plans unveiled for the temple and entire temple block. The temple closed in early November 2019, with the renovations beginning soon thereafter.

St. George Utah Temple renovation plans, renderings announced

The multi-year upgrade of the St. George temple is one of three renovations of pioneer-era temples. Its start followed that of the extensive Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square renovation project, with the Manti Utah Temple update beginning last year.

A smart-weather irrigation system is being installed that will know the optimum time to water the vegetation at the St. George Temple in St. George, Utah, November 2021.

A smart-weather irrigation system is being installed that will know the optimum time to water the vegetation at the St. George Temple in St. George, Utah, November 2021.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple renovations include reinforcing the temple’s structural integrity and foundation, upgrading all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, restoring furnishings and decorating – such as lighting fixtures – to the temple’s historical period and returning full murals to the instruction rooms.

The project also includes work on two additions from the 1970s renovation, with the stair tower on the temple’s rear side being rebuilt and better matching the temple, and the north-side annex being replaced with a taller, larger structure, with the sealing rooms previously located in the original annex being moved to inside the temple proper.

Exterior improvements also involve entrance, bridal and visitors plaza areas and a baptistry entrance.

Landscapers make ready the smart irrigation system and plants in January 2022 on the St. George Utah Temple grounds. These efforts now will help ensure a lush grounds experience at the open house after completion of the renovated historic temple.

Landscapers make ready the smart irrigation system and plants in January 2022 on the St. George Utah Temple grounds. These efforts now will help ensure a lush grounds experience at the open house after completion of the renovated historic temple.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The annex is ready for painting, while ground improvements are on schedule, with walkways, planters and refreshed landscaping nearing completion. Drought-tolerant shrubbery and trees are being prepped for spring planting, with the intent to have them well-rooted to survive southern Utah’s intense summer heat.

A sophisticated smart-weather irrigation system is being installed, allowing for optimum watering schedules and conditions.

A closer look — inside and out — at St. George temple renovations after 1 year

Arched doorways of maple and poplar in the north addition of the St. George Utah Temple replicate original millwork in the historic temple, January 2022. Guests will experience a seamless transition from the north addition to the historic part of the temple.

Arched doorways of maple and poplar in the north addition of the St. George Utah Temple replicate original millwork in the historic temple, January 2022. Guests will experience a seamless transition from the north addition to the historic part of the temple.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Also, interior finish work features maple and poplar millwork, patterned after the temple’s original woodwork.

“When patrons walk into the north entrance of the temple, they’ll feel like they’re in the historic temple, and that’s consistent throughout the building,” said Andy Kirby, the Church’s director of historic temple renovations.

An oasis is taking shape on the grounds of the St. George Utah Temple with the addition of palm trees in January 2022. Other trees, plants and shrubbery are being planted to ensure they’re established, lush and green for the anticipated open house.

An oasis is taking shape on the grounds of the St. George Utah Temple with the addition of palm trees in January 2022. Other trees, plants and shrubbery are being planted to ensure they’re established, lush and green for the anticipated open house.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Quotable

  • Lorenzo Brieno, framing foreman, Pete King Commercial: “This job demands perfection.”
  • Chris Reilly, landscape project manager, Stratton and Bratt: “We all want the people to feel peace, even on the grounds. The grounds [are] an extension of the temple.”
  • Bob Kropf, plumbing and mechanical foreman, U.S. Mechanical: “I’m responsible for anything that has water in it — that’s the heating, the air conditioning, all the drain waste and vent domestic water.”

An aerial view of the St. George Utah Temple.

An aerial view of the St. George Utah Temple.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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