OGDEN -- The Ogden temple will close April 2 for extensive renovations first announced last February.
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the closure date Friday.
There was no word on how long the temple will be closed for the work, but initial estimates in February were in the neighborhood of 18 months.
Included will be changes in the architectural look of the building. The tabernacle next door also will be closed and remodeled.
"(The temple has) just been a permanent Ogden foundation feature for me," said Jim Harvey, general manager of the Golden Spike Event Center. He remembers attending the temple's open house as a young person in December 1971. It was the fifth temple built in Utah and the second along the Wasatch Front.
Harvey said he believes the changes in the temple will be a perfect companion to Ogden's revitalization.
"I love the new look," he said. "I love my little town of Ogden. For me, it will just be the crown jewel."
And Harvey said he personally won't mind the wait for the changes.
"We live through the inconvenience for a better tomorrow," he said.
Dan Litchford, a Northern Utah spokesman for the church, said the announcement will put rumors to rest.
"There have been so many different perceptions of what would happen," Litchford said. "It didn't matter who you spoke to, they had different ideas."
The Ogden mission for the church is located in the Ogden tabernacle. As the renovations begin, it will relocate to the South Ogden Junior High School seminary building, which is next to a church building that also will be of use to the mission.
Mission President R. Brent Olson said the changes would be worth any inconvenience to area missionaries.
"Our missionaries have really enjoyed on their preparation day being able to go to the Ogden temple," he said. "They will miss it. They can go to Bountiful or Brigham City, but it was very convenient."
A worker in the Ogden temple, Lyle Cottle, of West Weber, said the workers have not received word yet on how they will be reassigned. But he knows of some temple workers who will go on missions after the temple closes.
"One is going to Palmyra, New York, as a temple ordinance missionary," he said. "The other one hasn't been assigned yet."