ST. GEORGE — At the corner of 3000 East and 1580 South in St. George, the ground has begun to move.
Once just a field used for farming, the future site of the Washington County Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is seeing movement as heavy equipment preps the area for construction.
Set over 14-acres, the second temple in Washington County will be three stories tall and approximately 90,000 square feet. The incoming temple was announced by LDS church President Russell M. Nelson in October 2018, with the exact location announced in November 2019.
Prior to being declared a temple site, the church-owned property along 3000 East was used as farmland. Most recently the land was leased by 77-year-old Washington City resident Ralph Staheli, who grew a myriad of crops there, including alfalfa, sudangrass and various grains used to feed his livestock.
Staheli harvested his last crop on the leased land earlier this year, with the heavy equipment coming in soon after to start moving dirt.
When the Washington County Temple was announced, Daniel K. Frei, president of the church’s Santa Clara Utah Stake, cited the influx of people into the area as one possible reason for the new temple.