Reader voices: Memories of building a new stake building

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  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    July 30, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    What grat blessings came to each one when we had to help raise money to build Stake Centers and Ward Buildings. We have helped with our original chapel, and with our new chapel here in Lake Havasu city, Arizona. When we outgrew the original ward, and had been victim of an arson fire, it was decided that we needed to built a bigger building. The Relief Society Sisters could not actually work on the building, but we all worked together and raised $5000 with a bazaar to help fund the new building.

  • brobobeo Gilbert, AZ
    July 22, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Interesting that this came from Richfield, Utah. I was born in Richfield and when I was finishing the 5th grade in 1948 my father took a position as Building Superintendent for the Church. We rented our house and moved to Macon, GA where my dad built a chapel and at the same time was building chapels in Darlington, SC, Dothan AL, and Seminary, MS. We later moved to Panama City, FL and Marianna, FL where he built two more chapels. Donated labor was the theme in all of these buildings. For my family it was an introduction to segregation and the ways of the South -- including wonderful hospitality from the members and others. However, my father was often chided by one branch president for being to kind to the "darkies" that were hired to work on site.

  • Still a Mormon Greenfield, IN
    July 22, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    A few weeks ago the Louisville temple purchased some land and had a similar thing with member involvement. I understood that to be for a short time though. I think the building process would offer the members more, even if they only painted, cleaned and moved materials.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 22, 2013 4:56 a.m.

    I'm sorry I missed such things -- too young. Oh, I remember having to help raise money to build our ward building, and my parents helped paint inside when it was done . . .

    My grandfather told of helping to build the Stake Center in Richland Washington - the Thayer building.

    It's wonderful that the church can just build a building without the extra money being raised for them, but there was something to be said for the opportunity to be a part of the actual building. I think we appreciated the buildings more and took better care of them. Too often I think some take them for granted -- leave their litter in the chapel after sacrament meetings and so forth. And I think it meant something when sisters helped make the draperies, the brothers planted the trees and so forth. Those were the days.

    July 21, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    I remember helping carry stones to the scaffold so the skilled bricklayer/stone mason could build the rock front of the Tacoma 5th/8th Ward Building in Lakewood when all military stationed at Ft.Lewis and McHord Air Force Base were part of the Tacoma 8th Ward in the early 1960's.

    I also remember contributing to the building of the Lawton, Oklahoma Ward Building and the new Cheyenne, Wyoming Stake Center when local members contributed 50 % of the cost of the new buildings.

    Most of us never thought we would see the day when the Church paid 100 % of the cost from general church funds.

  • Brent Walton GIG HARBOR, WA
    July 21, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    The Jefferson Ward building had a big impact on my career choice. I’d moved to Louisiana in 1964 to be a rocket scientist and lived in the nearby New Orleans Ward. Our ward’s building was older and smaller than the beautiful new Jefferson Ward in Metarie. Brother Horton, the architect of record for the Jefferson building was in my ward, and he invited me to stop at his office to examine the working drawings.
    I did - I was awe-struck how this building could come out of his head, got drawn onto flat sheets of paper, then translated by builders like Robert Williams using brick, plaster, and wood to become the Jefferson Ward building.
    I immediately changed my mind about my career path right there in Brother Horton’s office. I didn’t want to be a rocket scientist any more, but changed courses and spent the next several years to become an architect. This has been a very rewarding career, all influenced by the Jefferson Ward building.

    July 21, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    We had work assessments for new buildings, even in Utah! As a priest, I worked my 100 hours and also my dad's 200--he was recovering from a heart attack.
    The contractor had quite a time getting a handful of priests learning how to work freshly poured concrete. We were standing around wondering what to do, and the concrete was setting up! Quite a challenge for him.
    I stripped the forms off the baptismal font--it was difficult because they were stuck in place.
    We also worked alongside our bishop placing the decking on the roof over what would be his office.
    We had to use 2-pound sledge hammers and a star drill to set the anchor bolts for a laminated wood column--quite a bit more labor-intensive that today's power hammer drills!
    Good memories and experiences youth of today may never have!