As you’ve come to expect, This Week in Mormons is always bringing you unique and breaking news on LDS Temple updates as well as all news and current events in the Mormon universe.

Today’s update is no different. It’s just been announced that the jewel of the southern Salt Lake Valley, and one of the 3 temples in the Sandy/Draper area that you can see from the freeway at the same time, is closing next year for major renovations.

As the Mormon Newsroom announced:

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced the closure of the Jordan River Utah Temple in the Salt Lake Valley. The temple will be closed from February 15, 2016 through the latter part of 2017 to undergo extensive renovation.

It makes sense. Since its dedication in 1981 it’s probably high time to update more than a few things. But what about this makes it news other than the fact that the temple will be closed for more than a year? Heck, even the Washington, D.C. Temple is redoing all of its electrical work right now. Would that be considered a “major renovation?”

Or, will South Jordan get the Ogden treatment where a “major renovation” amounts to replacing an old temple for a new one on the same spot? It’s hard to dispute that in Ogden’s case this was a much needed improvement, aesthetically and otherwise, but the Jordan River Temple, despite looking a bit like its era, is still really very pretty.

Jordan-River-Utah-Temple2

But the newsroom does say that “following the renovation, the temple will be rededicated,” meaning that the 7th temple in Utah, could also become the 18th, in a way.

Our friends over at LDSChurchTemples.com seem to have a bit more inside information, but they aren’t an official church-owned site so we can’t say for sure that what they claim is 100% true. Regardless, their statement seems to suggest a much bigger project than merely changing out the curtains.

During the renovation, the temple will be upgraded, reinforced, and beautified. Outdated mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced with modern equipment, drop ceilings replaced with hard lid ceilings, and escalators replaced with stairs. Seismic upgrades are planned for the entrance canopy, tower, and Celestial Room, which will be strengthened with shear wall modifications and reinforced columns to the footings. Selective interior walls will come down to accommodate remodeling of the Celestial Room, bride’s room, initiatory areas, and the baptistry including the addition of a separate baptistry entrance.

All very interesting, but can we pause for a second and just say…ESCALATORS??!

When all is said and done, there is no doubt that the Jordan River Temple will continue to be one of the very few bright spots in what is otherwise Suburbia Purgatory.