The extensive renovation of the Salt Lake Temple, now in its ninth month, has laid bare much of the foundation stone first set by pioneering Latter-day Saints when the temple was in its infancy in 1853.
The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit on March 18, 2020, caused crews to pause for about one week while safety assessments were conducted. Some aspects of the renovation, such as the removal of the Moroni statue and temple spires, were expedited. COVID-19, on the other hand, has not disrupted the project, because Utah deems construction work essential. Instead of hindering the work, the pandemic has led to an increased emphasis on the holistic wellness of each worker.
“[The pandemic] has made us a lot more focused on people’s safety on-site. And not just their physical safety, but also their health and well-being,” says Spencer Loveless, a project manager with Jacobson who manages scheduling for the Temple Square construction site. “COVID is changing how we can move manpower through the building and how many people can be working next to each other at any one time.”