2020 Temple Milestones: A Year of Groundbreakings
Following the dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple in February 2020, the world slowed to a crawl as stay-at-home orders spread across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the closure of all operating temples in March and the postponement of all open houses and dedications for the rest of the year. Despite the pause in temple operations, President Nelson announced 8 new temples in April and 6 more in October for a total of 14. The year's first groundbreaking also took place in April for the Richmond Virginia Temple. By the last quarter of the year, groundbreakings had greatly accelerated for a final total of 21.
Twelve More Temples to Reopen Next Monday
For the past five weeks, temple reopenings have been announced each Monday, and this Monday is no exception. Twelve more temples will open under Phase 1 of the reopening plan on Monday, June 15, in Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa, Tonga, and the United States. This will bring the total number of temples that are operating under Phase 1 restrictions to 89.
Durban South Africa Temple Dedicated
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Durban South Africa Temple today. He said of his first temple dedication, "I don't think there’s anything greater that I could be asked in my ministry to do than…to dedicate a temple." Elder Rasband and his wife Melanie were accompanied by Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife Lynette. Elder Rasband said the temple "took his breath away" as he walked through with his family on the eve of the dedication. On the same day, the king and queen of the Zulu Kingdom toured the temple. "I'm relishing in the privilege of having the king and queen and their family be the last guests that we will take through this temple before it is dedicated," said Elder Rasband. Elder Cook added, "[T]hey embraced our church, they embraced the temple."
Doors of Durban South Africa Temple Open to the Public
The eleven-day public open house for the Durban South Africa Temple begins this Wednesday, January 22, and continues through Saturday, February 1, 2020, with no tours offered on Sunday, January 26. The temple will be dedicated in three sessions that will be broadcast to designated meetinghouses within the temple district on Sunday, February 16. A youth devotional will take place the evening prior to the dedication and also be broadcast.
Visitors Invited to Tour the Durban South Africa Temple
Public Affairs representatives in South Africa are spreading the word of the upcoming open house for the recently completed Durban South Africa Temple, considered by members of the Church to be the literal House of the Lord. Continuous tour sessions will be offered to visitors of all ages from January 22 through February 1, 2020, and will feature a video presentation and walking tour of the temple. This gift to the community is free of charge, and no donations are solicited.
Open House Sign Installed at the Durban South Africa Temple
The grounds of the Durban South Africa Temple has a new sign welcoming visitors to attend the upcoming open house beginning Wednesday, January 22, and continuing through Saturday, February 1, 2020, except for Sunday, January 26. The dedication will be held on Sunday, February 16, 2020, in three sessions. A youth devotional will be held the evening prior to the dedication.
Preparations Begin for Durban South Africa Temple Opening
The Durban South Africa Temple has been transferred to the Temple Department, and training has been conducted for the facilities manager, recorder, and assistants. The temple custodians are cleaning the temple while the groundskeepers are maintaining the new landscaping. They will assume responsibility for all of the grounds once the landscapers have finished their contracted work. All other tasks remaining to be completed and other preparations for next year's open house and dedication will continue over the next few weeks.
Special Guests at the Durban South Africa Temple
Bishop Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop of the Church, and Elder Joseph W. Sitati of the Africa Southeast Area presidency, inspected the construction progress at the Durban South Africa Temple on Thursday, November 14. They expressed encouraging words to the construction team and gratitude for their work. The elevator installations have been completed, and electrical has wrapped up. Sealing room mirrors has been installed. Landscaping continues including capping the water feature, stone benches, and planter boxes. At a media briefing, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged members of the community to attend the open house in two months.
Exterior of Durban South Africa Temple Completed
All of the scaffolding has been removed from the newly completed exterior of the Durban South Africa Temple. The Holiness to the Lord inscription stone has been painted, and final painting is underway on the interior. Landscaping is progressing rapidly including the final pavers that are being installed on steps and walkways. The missionary housing facility is ready for inspection, and the distribution center is ready to be stocked with supplies.
Art Glass Installed in Durban South Africa Temple Celestial Room
Major installations continue in the Durban South Africa Temple including beautiful panels of art glass in the Celestial Room, carpet tiles in the main lobby, and benches in the baptistry. Outside, stonework and sealing is advancing around the window openings, and the front staircase is being poured. Trees are being planted around the parking lot and across the grounds. The water feature grills have been installed and covered in a black stone.
Final Months of Construction at the Durban South Africa Temple
The interior of the Durban South Africa Temple gets closer to completion each day with mirrors and artwork mounted, floral arrangements in place, audio-visual equipment operational, the recommend desk completed, furniture touched up, more light fixtures hung, and carpet sculpting underway. Installers are preparing to attach surveillance equipment to the camera poles, and landscaping efforts continue with the addition of trees and the establishment of flourishing plants, flowers, and hedges.
Monument Sign Installed at the Durban South Africa Temple
The handsome monument sign welcoming patrons and guests to the Durban South Africa Temple has been installed at the entrance to the temple grounds where trees and shrubbery continue to be planted. Exterior stonework and work on the entrance plaza also continues. Inside, more art glass has been installed and draperies hung. Decorative painting has concluded. Various aspects of finish work is advancing including millwork and termination of electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, networking, and fire suppression.
Trees Transplanted to the Durban South Africa Temple Grounds
To give the grounds of the Durban South Africa Temple the feel of maturity, 8- to 15-year-old trees were transplanted to the grounds, and more fill-in foliage was planted ahead of the coming spring. Progress is being made on the entrance plaza including the water feature, which was filled and tested. Tests of the exterior floodlighting are underway as well using a temporary system. In the baptistry, the chandelier was lifted into place and glass panels were installed under the railing. Artists continue their work inside the temple while technicians set up data and security points.
Carpet Arrives at the Durban South Africa Temple
A team from Salt Lake City has arrived in South Africa to install the carpets for the Durban South Africa Temple and missionary housing facility. Work continues on the exterior marble, entrance staircase, millwork, trim and baseboards, flooring, and decorative painting and gilding. More plants are filling the designated garden spaces, more pavers are being laid, and more lamp posts are being installed.
Durban South Africa Temple Entrance Stairs
Scaffolding has been removed from the tower and entrance to the Durban South Africa Temple so that the entrance stairs may be constructed. Scaffolds still stand around the rest of the building, which stone layers are using to affix marble to the exterior. Work on the baptismal font has been completed, but finish work continues including millwork, gold leafing, and decorative painting. Driveway pavers have now been laid, allowing vehicles to park on site again.
Open House Committee for the Durban South Africa Temple
The committee for the open house and dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple has held on-site meetings as they prepare for next year's opening of South Africa's second temple. Scaffolding remains around the building for laborers working to complete the marble cladding. Finish work progresses inside including decorative painting and installation of the architrave over the veil area. Curved walkways are being poured on the rear side of the temple and the fountain medallion continues in front of the temple. The bus area of the parking lot has been paved and the lines painted.
Roofing Completed for Durban South Africa Temple
The final roof shingles have been set in place atop the Durban South Africa Temple, and marble cladding of the front façade nears completion. Interior art glass windows and millwork continue to be installed inside while work progresses outside on the fountain medallion, landscaping, brick pavers, and walkways.
Interior Artists Arrive at the Durban South Africa Temple
Decorative painting on the ceilings and walls of the Durban South Africa Temple is being carried out by recently arrived artists with expertise in stenciling, gold leafing, and other fine detailing. Railings in the baptistry are being installed while millwork and marble baseboard installation continue. The final section of roofing is nearing completion, and heavy equipment is leveling the south side of the parking area. More utility connections are being established.
Open House and Dedication Announced for the Durban South Africa Temple
The First Presidency has announced a public open house for the Durban South Africa Temple beginning Wednesday, January 22, and continuing through Saturday, February 1, 2020. The temple will be dedicated on Sunday, February 16, 2020, in three sessions at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, and 3:00 p.m. A youth devotional will be held the evening prior to the dedication on Saturday, February 15, 2020.
Durban South Africa Temple Tower Cladding Completed
Scaffolding around the Durban South Africa Temple tower is being dismantled, as crews have finished cladding the structure in marble. The wall mosaic in the baptistry is nearly finished, and installers are expertly fitting marble baseboards, door frames and trim, and other millwork. The monument sign slab has been poured at the entrance to the property while work continues on connecting to utility mains and adding road layers. Landscaping efforts carry on as does the meticulous work of piecing together the water feature medallion.
Soft Landscaping the Durban South Africa Temple Grounds
Thousands of plants are finding a home on the Durban South Africa Temple grounds to create the beautiful gardens that will greet arriving temple patrons. Stone cladding continues on the planter boxes and the temple exterior walls as does work on the water feature medallion. Millwork progresses inside the temple including stairwell banisters, doors, and trim. A wall mosaic is being carefully installed in the baptistry.
Millwork Beautifying the Durban South Africa Temple
The interior of the Durban South Africa Temple is feeling more templelike as craftsmen attach beautiful pieces of millwork to the walls and ceilings including cornices and pilasters. Marble flooring, thresholds, and baseboards are also being installed while work continues on installing fixtures for various mechanical and electrical systems. More sod has been laid around the east and south sides of the grounds, and crews are cladding the entrance retaining walls and laying pieces of the beautiful medallion around the water feature. Irrigation lines are being laid, walkways poured, and parking areas established.
Oxen Installed in Durban South Africa Temple Baptistry
In the baptistry of the Durban South Africa Temple, the oxen have been unpacked and installed under the font. Mahogany doors and frames are being fitted. Marble cladding of the grand staircase continues as does millwork, tiling, painting, electrical, plumbing, data, fire suppression, and HVAC. Interior light fixtures have been installed on two floors while positioning and testing is underway for the exterior lighting system. Landscaping efforts are progressing including laying stone for the fountain medallion, cladding the property entrance walls, and laying sod.
Landscaping Progress at the Durban South Africa Temple
The grounds of the Durban South Africa Temple are looking even more beautiful as crews clad the property entrance walls in sandstone, create a sandstone medallion pattern around the water feature, lay pavers in the parking area, pour walkways, and position security camera poles across the site. Finish work continues at all stages inside the temple including millwork, tiling, painting, plumbing, and installing data, electrical, and fire suppression equipment.
Greening Up the Durban South Africa Temple Grounds
Truckloads of rich compost and lawn sod have been delivered to the Durban South Africa Temple site to beautify the grounds and the surrounding sloping terrain. Hard landscaping including walkways, ramps, and parking surfaces continue to take shape. Beautiful stone samples have been attached to the retaining walls at the entrance to the temple. Inside the buildings, progress is being made on wall and floor tiling, painting, installing millwork, and other mechanical, electrical, and plumbing finish work.
Durban South Africa Temple Progresses in Spite of Blackouts
Due to a shortage of generating capacity, an implementation of rolling blackouts across South Africa has created some delays at the Durban South Africa Temple. Despite the inconvenience, construction crews are moving forward. Marble cladding has been affixed to the grand staircase and continues to be attached to the baptismal font. The Celestial Room ceiling is being finished, and flooring has started in the foyer. Twelve palms trees have been planted around the entrance water feature.
Grand Staircase to Be Clad in Stone
Templates have been cut for the stone that will clad the grand staircase inside the Durban South Africa Temple while tile continues to be laid on certain walls and floors. Painters, electricians, plumbers, and roofers are making progress inside and outside the building. On the grounds, the water feature is being waterproofed, and plants are filling the planter boxes.
Back to Work at the Durban South Africa Temple
Contractors have returned to the Durban South Africa Temple following a holiday break. Finish work has resumed inside the temple and missionary housing facility including millwork, electrical, data, HVAC, and fire suppression. Work also continues on the supporting structures like the guardhouse, garbage room, and mechanical building. Landscaping is making strides with the fencing completed and activities such as wall cladding, backfilling, and weeding underway.
Preparing for the Holidays at the Durban South Africa Temple
As workers prepare for a three-week holiday break, activities at the Durban South Africa Temple site have focused on cleanup and reinforcing the terraced grounds. Shade cloth was laid, and several new trees and plants were added. Inside the temple, artists took necessary measurements while contractors continued the work of hanging drywall and installing HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and fire suppression equipment.
Celestial Room Millwork at the Durban South Africa Temple
Inside the Durban South Africa Temple, cornice moldings are being installed in the Celestial Room while dry wall and paint are going up in other rooms. Along the outside of the temple, aluminum fascia is being attached under the eaves. At the missionary housing, cupboards are being fitted, floor and wall tiling continues, and more paint is covering the walls and ceilings.