OGDEN — Based on the reaction of the crowd Saturday, the 2014 renovation completion date of the Ogden Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot come soon enough.
Between 155 and 165 people squeezed into a room at the Ogden FamilySearch Library to hear a temple project update from an LDS official close to the project who asked not to be identified.
And based on the “oohs" and "ahhs” from the crowd, similar to what one might hear at a fireworks display, nobody walked away disappointed from the 75-minute narrated slideshow.
The renovation of the 40-year-old temple will include “major changes,” including making the structure’s foundation more seismically sound.
The renovated temple will have less square footage than the previous structure, with interior space shrinking from 131,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet, but through design, more usable building space has been created, the official said.
The temple will use more natural light from numerous windows on all four sides and a roof design that will admit indirect sunlight.
The grounds will have more parking space, with underground parking on the temple block being made available.
The entire temple block is also to be uniformly landscaped and will include a passenger drop-off accessed from Washington Boulevard.
Water features on the east and west sides of the temple will remain in place.
The Ogden Tabernacle is also currently under renovation. The seats angled toward the podium on the building’s far south side have been removed.
Through the aid of a underground tunnel, the tabernacle will now share its heating and cooling system with the temple, rather than being on a separate system.
Both buildings are to be completed at the same time.
The updates shared Saturday also included how representatives of Big D Construction, the Ogden-based company performing the renovations, meet for daily prayer with church officials before beginning work.
Big D also built a temple in Twin Falls, Idaho, and recently completed the Brigham City Temple.
The 200 construction employees at the Ogden work site are expected to hold to LDS Church standards while on the grounds and keep the temple clean by bringing only water into the building for refreshment.
The presentation also spoke of how all sacred objects in the building were removed before renovations began.
Renovation of the temple grounds also included the relocation of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.
The building was transported from the temple grounds near 2250 Grant Ave. and relocated to 21st Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The museum, outside of losing a few bricks during its move a block west, is being restored with a new basement and elevator.
Michelle Willie, a former longtime tour guide for the DUP Museum, gushed about Saturday’s presentation, which was part of the Ogden FamilySearch Library lecture series.
“I thought it was wonderful,” said Willie, who drove from Brigham City to attend.