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LDS church rebuilding Tolleson meetinghouse
Submitted by Frances Torrez on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 12:00am
Building destroyed last year by arson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is rebuilding a meetinghouse in Tolleson that burned down last June.
The church, at 710 N. 95th Ave., was deemed a total loss.
City and federal investigators ruled the cause as arson.
LDS church media specialist Jennifer Wheeler said construction of the new meetinghouse started in April and will be completed by late spring 2014.
Before breaking ground on the new meetinghouse, remains of the prior building were “completely razed,” she said.
However, the prior building had asbestos issues.
“When the prior building was razed, asbestos contractors were present and managed and contained the asbestos,” she said, adding, “All laws related to asbestos removal were strictly followed.”
The fire displaced three congregations with about 1,300 members, she said. Nearby meetinghouses have been accommodating those congregations so members can continue to worship.
The LDS church decided to rebuild the meetinghouse so displaced members could once again have “a place to worship Jesus Christ in their neighborhoods and community,” she said.
Although the meetinghouse will have a different layout and design, the purpose is still the same, she said.
“To provide a house of worship as members come together to learn of Jesus Christ,” she said.
Wheeler said contractors have completed the framing and roof structure of the meetinghouse and the installation of the electrical and plumbing systems are currently under way.
LDS Stake President Ron Waldron said the displaced congregation members are thrilled about the new building.
“Our members are very excited to have this new meetinghouse where we can worship Jesus Christ together,” he said.
When the meetinghouse is complete, Wheeler said there would be an open house and the community can take a tour of the new building.
As for the status of the case, Sgt. Rudy Mendoza of the Tolleson Police Department said it is still open and there are no new leads.
If you have information about the case, contact the Tolleson Police Department 623-936-7186.
Frances Torrez can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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