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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 03, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 12Sep00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

LDS Church Will Build New Institute Building at University of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The University of Utah will be the recipient of the new 114,000-square-foot Salt Lake Institute of Religion. The facility will replace the existing cluster of aging buildings east of Rice-Eccles Stadium on 500 South. The construction will begin this fall and the project is slated for completion by early summer 2002.

There has been concern that with all the new temples being built worldwide, the LDS Church has forgotten the construction needs at home. Ralph Swiss, director of physical facilities and real estate for the church educational system has dispelled those rumors. "The church continues to grow. We're as interested in a single adult in Mongolia as we are here," Swiss said.

Dedicated to the spiritual and social needs of students, 321 institute programs worldwide are provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some 5,000 University of Utah students currently participate in the institute program. The new building will accommodate an enrollment of $10,000 students. There will be a total of 32 classrooms connected by a glass-enclosed atrium walkway. There are 70 different day and evening classes which cover courses on world religions, Mormon doctrine and interpersonal relationships.

"Our program has grown dramatically over the last 10 years. We've about doubled," said Paul Browning, director of the institute. The institute also provides for 13 student wards that meet for Sunday worship services. Currently 85 to 90 percent of enrolled students are U of U students. "But we think that will rapidly change as we expand out into the community," Browning said.

Chapels will be included in each wing along with large multipurpose areas designed for dances, dinners or basketball that will accommodate as many as 5,000 students simultaneously. During the demolition process and the rebuilding Swiss says, "We will be squeezed like sardines." "We haven't released the projects cost. Suffice it to say it's a whole bunch," he added.


LDS Church Plans New S.L. Institute of Religion
Salt Lake Tribune 3Sep00 D3
By Kirsten Stewart: Salt Lake Tribune


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