With the groundbreaking on a new temple planned for next month, work has been ongoing to prepare The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ meetinghouse along Butte House Road in Yuba City for demolition.
Work up to this point has involved clearing the facility of items and preparing the site for demolition. Steve Hammarstrom, local stake president for the church, said the final phase before construction can officially begin will likely begin any day now.
“A lot of the work that we’ve been involved in up to this point is preparing to hand the project off to the temple department,” Hammarstrom said. “At that point, we will begin to step back and have them take over, but I’ll be here to help where I can.”
In October 2018, it was announced that the Yuba-Sutter area would be receiving a new temple, which are places of worship reserved for church members only. The current facility is a meetinghouse, which is used for worship services and weekday activities and is open to the general public and visitors.
The new temple facility will be 38,000 square feet and include a new meetinghouse and distribution center. The Feather River California Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be the eighth temple established in California.
The church is planning a groundbreaking for the new facility on July 18. Hammarstrom said the event will likely be small due to COVID-19 restrictions, though the plan is to record the event and share it on social media.
As part of the process, the current meetinghouse located on site will need to be demolished. Hammarstrom said he expects that to occur within the coming weeks.
Over the last several weeks, his team has been working to clear the facility of items and taking apart the inside of the building. The church wanted to distribute as many of the items as possible and worked with about 15 churches and a handful of nonprofits to rehome some of the items, Hammarstrom said.
Around the end of May, the second phase of pre-demolition work began, which included the removal of a small amount of asbestos within the building and setting up equipment around the site in preparation of demolition work.
The church hasn’t been holding its regular services due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Once they do get the green light to resume, the church will utilize several other sites around the region to provide services to its congregation.
“Of the three units that were attending the facility along Butte House Road, with each unit being about 200 people, one section will go to the Gridley location and the other two will go to the church on Clark Avenue next to the high school. Some of the congregation from that church will be moving over to a Beale Road chapel in Linda,” Hammarstrom said.
Hammarstrom said more details about the process moving forward will be released once it becomes available.