The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Pocatello Temple is starting to take shape and now has much of its steel frame in place.
The temple has been under construction since March. Installation of structural steel above the foundation started in the first week of October.
It is the most exciting phase of construction since the groundbreaking for Roger Prewitt, who is overseeing the project with his wife Glenda Prewitt, as a service missionary for the LDS church.
“One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is being able to see the project above the ground,” Prewitt said. “It shows the progress. Before, even though work was being done, it was really hard to tell what was being done. Now, you can look at the end of the day and you can see what’s been done because more pieces of steel are in place. The building’s taller, wider or something’s different about it that wasn’t there yesterday.”
The temple is being built off Satterfield Drive on Pocatello’s north side, and the total floor area will be 67,696 square feet.
Prewitt said construction remains on schedule and the structural steel should be fully installed by December.
The temple’s parking lot and concrete foundation are completed.
“I’m just as excited as the members around here,” Prewitt said. “It’s going to change the skyline up here. I think even now you can see it from a long ways off in the valley, even where it’s at now. But it’s going to be 85 feet higher before the structural steel’s done.”
The construction project is eight months into what will take up to three years, according to Prewitt.
Prewitt, who’s been tasked as quality controller, said there have been zero hiccups thus far.
The LDS temple will be the sixth in Idaho and third in the state’s eastern region. The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple was dedicated in 1945 and the Rexburg Idaho Temple was dedicated in 2008.
Prewitt has overseen constructions of two other Mormon temples in Hartford, Conn., and Indianapolis.
He said overseeing the Pocatello project contrasts with the one in Indianapolis, where he is from.
“Here, I didn’t know all the contractors that are part of the construction,” Prewitt said. “But I would say we have had very, very, very good luck with local contractors and others that have come up to help build. It’s a very positive experience for me as far as that goes.”
While there are differences, a constant theme he has seen continue in Pocatello is the kindness and enthusiasm shown by members of LDS church.
“The members of the church here have been very, very, very excited and very accommodating and want to help,” Prewitt said. “We have members that are willing to come up here and bring treats to the workers and bring lunch to the workers sometimes.
“And it was the same way in Indianapolis and it was the same way in Hartford. Members are very excited about having the temple built in their hometown and I don’t see any different here than I did there.”