Three new buildings are going up at the Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to accommodate an increasing number of missionaires.
The Provo City Planning Commission unanimously approved the plan Wednesday evening. The additional buildings will increase the center's capacity from 3,000 to 4,000 missionaries.Expansion plans include a new multipurpose building, a four-story residence hall and a four-story classroom building. All three will be constructed south of the administration building in an area that is now landscaping and parking.
The multipurpose facility will be used for orientation meetings, devotionals, firesides, conferences and physical-fitness activities. Those things are currently done in the MTC administration building. The new auditorium will have seating for 2,000.The heights of the new buildings will not block views of the Provo Temple east of the MTC, said Julie Beck, a city planner. Because they will be built on lower ground, their roofs will be even with those of existing MTC structures, she said.
With construction of the new buildings, the current main entrance to the MTC will be eliminated. A four-way traffic signal will be constructed at the intersection of 900 East and South Temple Drive. That intersection will become the main access to the center.
City planners were concerned that the change might create some traffic and parking problems in the area, especially on Wednesday mornings when new missionaries arrive at the MTC.
Construction will remove 26 parking spaces from the site, but they will be replaced with increased off-site parking. The total number of parking slots will increase from 739 to 802, with overflow parking available at the Marriott Center, the Provo Temple and a chapel north of the MTC.
"I don't think we're going to have a parking problem," Beck said.
The planning commission approved the plan with the stipulation that should a parking problem arise, it would be brought back to the commission for resolution.