The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to relocate and rename the temple previously planned for Tooele Valley.
The temple previously known as the Tooele Valley Utah Temple will now be called the Deseret Peak Utah Temple and be located west of the intersection of 2400 North and 400 West in Tooele, according to a church statement Tuesday.
The previous temple site was on the northwest corner of the intersection of Erda Way and state Route 36 in Erda.
“The First Presidency expresses gratitude for the faith and prayers of church members in this area, and continues to encourage all people to treat one another with kindness and Christlike love,” the statement reads.
The three-story temple will be about 70,000 square feet and a new 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse will be constructed next to the site. The exterior and interior designs remain the same as depicted in previously released renderings.
Project leaders will immediately begin working with city officials on plans for the temple.
Tooele Mayor Debbie Winn said she first became aware that the church was considering other locations sometime in December. The new temple site is in a “beautiful area,” near residential neighborhoods and a golf course within Tooele’s city limits. When constructed, people will be able to see the temple from around the valley, she said.
“They were trying to find the right place and I believe they did,” Winn told the Deseret News on Tuesday. “I’m very thrilled that it will be in the city. This will be for all the people in this valley. We have waited and waited for this to come. It’s great news today.”
In May 2020, the church released plans and renderings for a new residential community to be built near the original temple site in Erda.
Last fall, church leaders acknowledged questions and concerns about the project and withdrew those plans. Winn was surprised when there was opposition to the original temple site but can appreciate both perspectives. She doesn’t anticipate any pushback to the new location.
“I don’t think it was ever about the temple building itself, it was about the residential area around it,” she said. “This will be a great spot — it would have been our first choice. The area where this temple will be built is already in our general plan for residential areas and housing.
“We never know why things happen sometimes. But I believe this is a perfect spot and it’ll be a great addition to our valley, and not just for the LDS Church people. We have many other religious entities in this city and we get along well and support each other. This is another way to show the religious freedom we have in this valley.”
President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple would be built in the Tooele Valley in April 2019.