Construction for MTC expansion slated for summer of 2015

Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-29 20:23:23-04

PROVO, Utah -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unveiled its new plans to expand the Missionary Training Center in Provo.

The new design is scaled back from the original proposal, which came under fire from long time residents in the neighborhood.

The MTC plans to increase its capacity from 3,000 to 4,500 that's in response to the growing number of missionaries after the church changed the age requirement.

To accommodate the growth the LDS Church plans to add four new six-story buildings.
Lorie Johnson who opposed the church's original expansion plan said it's a reasonable compromise.

"The neighborhood has a history of accommodating the church, we are not against the church or the churches missionary program. What we would like to see and I think what we are seeing in this proposal is a little more sensitivity to the neighborhood," said Johnson.

The church sent out a press release, but wouldn't comment on the plans or the negotiation process.

Neighbors say it was a difficult fight, both sides settled on reducing the height of the buildings, pushing the location away from the neighborhood, and adding landscaping to obstruct the views.

"Nobody got everything they wanted, but in a strange way I think it's workable, I think it's better for the neighborhood. I don't think it will affect the property values nearly as much," said Provo Resident George Frey.

Neighbors say they were told this expansion will be sufficient for at least the next two decades.

"I think we have to take time and celebrate the victories along the way. We've been told this satisfies their planning needs for the next 20 years. So at least for 20 years I'm going to celebrate. 12:00:42 And live to fight another day," said Johnson.

Construction will begin in the summer of 2015 and is expect to take two years to complete.