APIA, Samoa As the reconstruction of the Apia Samoa Temple reaches the halfway mark, members are eager to once again have a temple on this Pacific island.
They are "very anxious" for the temple to be completed and are watching its progress closely, said managers from the Temple Construction Division. After having a temple for nearly two decades, they have been without a temple since 2003.
The first Apia Samoa Temple was dedicated in 1983 by President Gordon B. Hinckley and functioned until being closed in 2003 for renovation to expand the baptistry and other areas. The renovation was well under way and preparations were being made for rededication when it was destroyed by fire on July 9, 2003.
Rebuilding of the temple began on Oct. 19 of the same year and is expected to be complete in 2006.
Under construction by Bud Bailey Construction of Salt Lake City, the temple is in the process of having stone placed on the exterior, which is about half done, and rough electrical and mechanical work done on the interior.
Work is now mostly complete on interior framing with the installation of the steel studs, upon which drywall is now being placed.
Because the footprint of the new temple is somewhat different than the original, additional concrete will be added and landscaping completed. Landscaping will begin in January, and is expected to take several months to complete, said the managers.
Most of the material for the temple has to be shipped in, and while that process has been time consuming, it has gone smoothly, they said.
Much of the construction work is being done by subcontractors from the United States, who employ local workers to help them. One of these local workers was impressed by those around him and the spirit of the temple and was later baptized into the Church.