The next step toward the construction of the Orem Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place Thursday night.
Two separate meetings were held, first for church leadership within the temple district and then for the neighborhoods surrounding the designated temple property at 1471 S. Geneva Road.
The temple district will include Orem, Vineyard and Lindon.
An overhead rendering was shown indicating the placement of the temple, roads, parking and a meetinghouse on the western most part of the property.
“It will be three stories with a center spire and 70,000 square feet,” said Jared Doxey, director of construction in North America. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful design.”
A road coming from future developments to the north and passing through the temple, separating the parking and two buildings, was part of a master plan that was in place prior to the temple site selection.
Doxey said the final design of the interior and exterior of the temple are still in the design phase.
Brent Roberts, managing director of special projects, has a special closeness to the Orem Temple.
According to Orem Mayor Richard Brunst, who attended the meeting, Roberts was the LDS stake president who purchased the land being used for the temple for the church years ago and for another use.
“The way we approach design (of temples) is not traditionally how individuals approach construction,” Roberts said. “We pray and attend the temple. We feel it is a mandate from the prophet before we take it to the First Presidency. It’s more of a spiritual opportunity.”
The neighborhood meeting is the first step in the process to a rezone approval and eventual start to construction.
“We are pleased to work with the city as we move forward with this project,” Doxey said. “The groundbreaking date has not been set. We’re hoping its sooner than later.”
Roberts said it takes several months working with the Orem Planning Commission and within the church processes before they can announce a groundbreaking date. He is hoping by or before fall.
“It takes about two years of construction for this size temple,” Doxey said.
By city code the church had to hold the neighborhood meeting for those who live within 1,000 feet of the temple site. About 600 people were invited, Doxey said about 60 attended.
The church had to take names and phone numbers of those who attended and write any comments made. Those will be recorded in the minutes and turned over to the city.
Brunst and Councilwoman Debby Lauret attended the meeting representing the city.
“We are obviously excited for the temple,” Brunst said. “A few years ago they announced a mission in Orem and now a temple. Seventy percent of the population are members of the church.”
Brunst noted the city annexed the temple property area, about 250 acres, from the county around five years ago.
Lauret expects the temple to be very beautiful and to reflect the history of the area that could possibly include the agriculture and orchards that were in Orem.
“I see a very busy temple,” Lauret said. “I see the baptistery filled with young people. I see a place of peace. I hope it’s a place of peace for the whole community.”