Construction has begun on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ $62 million Pocatello temple, the sixth of the church’s temples in Idaho.
Church leaders hosted a groundbreaking in March that drew several thousand attendees, including interfaith representative. The other faiths represented included the Praise Temple of God in Pocatello and the Islamic Society of Southeast Idaho, the church said in a news release.
“It’s very much appreciated by us to see these representatives of other faiths here,” said Elder Wilford W. Anderson, of the church’s Quorum of Seventy, in the release.
The opening prayer was offered by Taysom Hill, a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. A Pocatello native, Hill graduated from Highland High School in 2009 and later played football as quarterback at Brigham Young University.
The temple will be located east of Satterfield Drive and Butte Street in Pocatello in a new subdivision known as Crestview Estates – Division 2, with views of the Snake River Plain.
Once completed, the temple will serve more than 64,000 Latter-day Saints from southeastern Idaho.
Workers have started excavating the foundation and rough grading the 12-acre site, the church said on its website. Helming the project, which will culminate in a three-story, 67,696-square foot temple, is Salt Lake City-based Okland Construction, a company that has worked on other temples.
As generator contractor, Okland Construction will use mostly subcontractors from Pocatello through Idaho Falls, many of whom were involved in renovating the Idaho Falls temple about a year and a half ago, according to a church spokesman. Roughly 80 to 120 construction workers will be at the site on any given day throughout construction, which should take two to three years to complete, the spokesman said.
The church has 162 operating temples worldwide, with another 40 announced or under construction. Idaho’s other temples are in Boise, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Rexburg and Twin Falls.
The church was informally known as the Mormon or LDS church, but the church now discourages use of those terms.