Rising temple spires show progress at sites

Temple spires are rising on sites across the world as extensive building projects move forward.

Construction is under way on the Hong Kong, Mount Timpanogos Utah, St. Louis Missouri, Vernal Utah, Preston England, and Bogota Colombia temples, listed in the order of expected completion. Site work has also started for the temple to be built in Guayaquil, Ecuador.In addition, planning has started for sites in Cochabamba, Bolivia; Boston, Mass.; Madrid, Spain; Nashville, Tenn.; Recife, Brazil; Santo Domingo Dominican Republic; and White Plains, N.Y.

The Church currently has 47 operating temples, six under construction and eight others in various stages of planning or preparation.

The temple nearest to completion is in Hong Kong, where a 136-foot-high spire was topped by a statue of the Angel Moroni on Dec. 12. Several hundred onlookers gathered to watch the proceedings.

The five-story temple, with 40 tall, stylized windows and ornamented walls topped by a gold dome and spire, has reached its final form. The edifice will house the temple in its top three stories and the baptismal font in the basement. A meetinghouse, mission offices, apartments for the temple president and the mission president, and a small outlet of Beehive Clothing will be housed in other areas of the building.

The exterior granite is nearly installed, and granite covering is being placed on fences, a fountain and on columns. Granite tile is being placed in the parking areas. Interior woodwork on the floors and ceilings, as well as the windows, has been installed.

The Mount Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, Utah, also has a statue of the Angel Moroni placed atop its 190-foot high spire. Construction of this temple is on schedule, and is expected to be completed this coming summer. Most of the exterior facing granite has been installed, and most of the windows are in. Woodwork is being placed on the floors, and painting and wall coverings are under way. Some carpeting has been installed.

The temple in the suburb of Town and Country, in metropolitan St. Louis, Mo., has risen to its roof level. The spire, which is being fabricated, will soon be installed. The interior is also progressing with the rough metal stud walls up, and work on the heating and air handling units going forward. The main floor is well along.

Outside, all the curb and gutter and site utilities have been installed. The ancillary Beehive Clothing outlet and maintenance shop are up and roofed.

The extensive complex in Preston, England, is well under way. The complex includes the temple, a stake center, a missionary training center, temple patrons and missionary housing, a reception building for travelers and a Beehive Clothing store.

Pilings have been driven to protect the excavation site for the temple. Workers are currently laying a rubberized protection sheet. A yard-thick layer of concrete will soon be placed over this. It will comprise the foundation level of the area of the baptismal font. Work is going forward simultaneously on several of the site's structures, but is mostly beneath the ground level.

In Vernal, Utah, workers are remodeling and expanding the 1907 Uintah Stake Tabernacle. Following the groundbreaking on May 3, workers moved ahead in the unprecedented project of transforming a historic building into a temple. Completion is expected in mid- or late 1997. The ancillary building constructed at the rear of the tabernacle has been erected, closed in, roofed and is watertight. Work will proceed on the interior of this building through the winter. At the same time, work in the tabernacle has strengthened and reinforced its walls. Reinforcing work is expected to continue through the winter.

In Colombia, crews are putting in the foundation for the Bogota Colombia Temple. They are well along with the patron housing building and involved in site preparation work around the foundation.

The site for the temple in Bolivia has been selected on a bench area on the west side of Cochabamba. A site has also been selected in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Streets to this location have been constructed and architectural drawings are being completed.

Drawings for temples in Madrid, Spain; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Nashville, Tenn.; are also being completed. Preliminary work is being done on temples for Boston, Mass., and White Plains, N.Y. These two temples were announced in general conference Sept. 30.