News Release

Renovation of St. George Utah Temple Nears Completion

Project crosses two-year mark

Extensive renovation of the St. George Utah Temple has crossed the two-year mark and is nearing completion.

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One of the main things that we've done the last year is to finish all the primary upgrades we needed to do to the historic temple,” said Eric Jamison, project manager of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Contractors from various companies are working together to upgrade the pioneer-era temple, located in southern Utah. Dedicated in 1877, it was the first temple to be completed in Utah and the oldest operating temple in the Church of Jesus Christ.

A new addition on the west side of the temple is well underway, the exterior of the north addition is ready for painting and improvements to the grounds are on schedule.

“This job demands perfection,” said Lorenzo Brieno, framing foreman from Pete King Commercial.

“There are some walls that feel like glass they’re so smooth. They have a special skill, and you can tell that they care about their work,” remarked Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for the Church.

The walkways, planters and landscaping are nearing completion. Drought tolerant shrubbery and trees are ready for an early spring planting to help ensure they are well rooted to survive the intense heat of summer. In addition, a sophisticated smart weather irrigation system is being installed that will know the optimum time to water the vegetation.

“We all want the people to feel peace, even on the ground. The grounds [are] an extension of the temple,” said Chris Reilly, landscape project manager from Stratton and Bratt.

The renovation includes structural reinforcement of the temple’s stone foundation. The mechanical and electrical systems have also been upgraded.

“We were able to get in and now work on all the mechanicals, electrical and then get into the finish work,” Jamison said.

“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,” explained Bob Kropf, the plumbing and mechanical foreman from U.S. Mechanical.

Despite the challenges, Kropf has a special incentive to do his best on the job. “My mother's very devoted, and her opinion means a lot. At the end of the day, isn’t all a guy wants to do is to have his mom be proud of him?”

Also exceptional in its finish is the maple and poplar millwork, patterned after the original woodwork in the historic temple.

“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,” Kirby said.

“The thing that I'm most proud of is, I think, the teams that have worked together — both contractor, architect, engineers — being able to collaborate and to make something this challenging work,” Jamison said. “It's just an honor to be able to work on a house of the Lord.”

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