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Mormon church announces closure date of Mesa Temple for renovation

(Flickr Photo/Katy Crookston)

PHOENIX — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a date that a temple in Mesa, Arizona, will close for “major renovations.”

The Mesa Arizona Temple will close on May 19 and will not reopen until 2020, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The renovations were expected to include upgrades to its HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, improved garden areas and reflecting pool and cleaned and restored terracotta tiles and murals.

A visitors center will also be torn down in front of the church. It will be replaced with a new center and ancestry research center at the corner of Main and LeSuer streets.

The closure means that major events that the temple holds each year, including Christmas lights and Easter pageants, will not go on this year.

Roc Arnett, Phoenix director of public affairs for the LDS Church, told the publication that more than 500,000 people attend the Christmas lights and 75,000 come to Easter events outside the temple each year.

The church originally announced the closure in June 2017, saying it was for “needed repairs and upgrades.”

“Public open house and re-dedication information will be provided for the three temples as the renovations near completion,” a release said.

Two other temples — in Raleigh, North Carolina and Baton Rouge, Louisiana — will also be closed for renovations.

According to an article about the Mesa Temple, this will be the second time the 90-year-old temple undergoes renovation. It was first dedicated in 1927 and rededicated in 1975.

Other Mormon temples in Arizona include those in Phoenix, Gila Valley, Snowflake, Gilbert and Tucson.

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on June 28, 2017, and has since been updated with a set closing date for the Mesa Arizona Temple.