Tucson Arizona Temple
Site cleared; construction fence erected; cactus relocated to on-site nursery; Groundbreaking scheduled for Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 17 October 2015
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Tucson Arizona Temple will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. Attendance at the ceremony is by invitation only, with the general public invited to view the proceedings live from local meetinghouses.
As of September 2015, the Tucson Arizona Temple site has been cleared and cactus plants have been transplanted to an on-site nursery until they can be reintegrated into the final landscaping. A construction fence has been erected, and several black conduits are on site.
In February 2013, a Church project manager submitted preliminary plans to Pima County to propose making Church-owned property in the Catalina Foothills, where East Ina Road curves into Skyline Drive, the site for the Tucson Arizona Temple. The 7-acre site was purchased by the Church in 2010, and a residence to the north was subsequently acquired.
The documents included surveys and environmental studies plus site and floor plans that used a rendering of a two-story, 34,000-square-foot mission-style building to represent the Tucson Arizona Temple. Plans proposed a 260-space parking lot with large areas of natural desert open space to provide a buffer for the surrounding neighborhood. No rezoning was required for the site, as it is already zoned to allow religious buildings.
The Shadow Roc Homeowners Association—the neighborhood where the proposed site is located—previously opposed an office development at that location. But association president, Stan Kartchner, himself a member of the Church, responded favorably to the temple plans. He indicated that a temple is "one of the more favorable uses we could imagine" for the property. He expressed his desire for Church representatives to open a dialogue with neighbors as the plans progress.1
The Tucson Arizona Temple was originally designed with a 95-foot steeple, which would have required a special permit. However, plans were altered, and the steeple was replaced with a dome-shaped cupola—reminiscent of the famous dome that crowns Italy's Florence Cathedral—which does comply with Pima County planning and zoning regulations.
The site for the Tucson Arizona Temple is located in the Catalina Foothills where East Ina Road curves into Skyline Drive.
On October 6, 2012, President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for a temple to be built in Tucson, Arizona—Arizona's second largest city—during his opening remarks of the 182nd Semiannual General Conference.
The Tucson Arizona Temple will be the sixth in the state. Temples are currently operating in Mesa, Snowflake, the Gila Valley, Gilbert, and Phoenix. There are approximately 400,000 members of the Church in Arizona.2
Five stakes are headquartered in the city of Tucson with three additional stakes in the surrounding region, namely the Sahuarita Arizona Stake, Sierra Vista Arizona Stake, and St. David Arizona Stake. The units that will be served by the Tucson Arizona Temple have not yet been announced but are likely to include these eight stakes.
The Tucson Arizona Temple will be the sixth temple built in Arizona, following the Mesa Arizona Temple (1927), the Snowflake Arizona Temple (2002), The Gila Valley Arizona Temple (2010), the Gilbert Arizona Temple (2014), and the Phoenix Arizona Temple (2014).
1. Becky Pallack, "Foothills site likely for Mormon temple," Arizona Daily Star 4 May 2013, 4 May 2013
2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints News Release, "Church Announces New Temples in Arizona and Peru," 6 Oct. 2012.