SALT LAKE CITY — Courtesy of Mormon Newsroom
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has finalized plans to expand the missionary training center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. Crews are expected to start building several new structures just south of the existing campus in the summer of 2015. The additional space will be used for classroom learning, personal study and small-group activities. Construction is expected to take two years to complete.
Once construction is finished, the Provo MTC will have increased capacity to train as many as 3,500 elders and sister missionaries at a time, up from 2,800. Many Spanish-speaking missionaries are currently being trained at the Mexico City MTC that opened last year, which has freed up resources and space at the Provo MTC.
The plans, which are designed to satisfy Provo City’s Training Facilities Zone requirements, include three new six-story buildings, enhanced outdoor space for missionary use, 300 underground parking stalls and improved landscaping to beautify the area.
The new buildings feature extensive glass exteriors to maximize use of natural light and create a sense of openness between the MTC and surrounding areas.
Classroom buildings near the current MTC entrance will be taken down once the new buildings are complete to make room for a new landscaped drive where missionaries will be greeted when they arrive.
The new construction does not include living quarters, but existing rooms in some of the residence halls are being remodeled to increase capacity. The Church is no longer utilizing two nearby apartment complexes to handle the influx of missionaries at the Provo MTC resulting from the lowering of age requirements for missionaries. In October 2012, Church President Thomas S. Monson announced men can now serve at age 18 instead of 19, and the age is now 19 instead of 21 for women.
There are currently more than 87,000 Latter-day Saint missionaries serving around the world. The Church currently operates 15 missionary training centers where missionaries receive religious instruction and language training and learn teaching skills. During their time at the MTC, missionaries also develop cultural understanding and respect for the areas and nations where they will serve in the Church’s 405 missions throughout the world.