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The Gila Valley Arizona Temple was announced on 28 April 2008 by President Thomas S. Monson. It is one of the first two announced by President Monson since he was ordained President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The groundbreaking took place on 14 February 2009, with Neil L. Andersen presiding. The temple will be completed in 2010. Two temples previously were in active use in Arizona, the Mesa Arizona Temple, and one in Snowflake, Arizona. In addition to the Gila Valley Temple, two others have been announced to serve the Arizona membership—theGilbert Arizona Temple, and the Phoenix Arizona Temple.
Gila Valley is known in the Church as the location where beloved prophet Spencer W. Kimball was raised.
The site is 17 acres located at 5291 West Highway 70, Central, Arizona. The temple will be faced with architectural pre-cast stone, and will have a classic-modern, single-spire design. Its 18,561 square feet will have two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms.
Once completed, the temple will serve approximately 32,000 members from the following seven stakes: Pima Arizona Stake, Thatcher Arizona Stake, Safford Arizona Stake, Duncan Arizona Stake, St. David Arizona Stake, Sierra Vista Arizona Stake, and Silver City New Mexico Stake (Jill B. Adair, "Ground broken for Gila Valley temple," Church News 16 Feb. 2009).
In December, 2009, the First Presidency of the Church announced a public open house prior to the dedication of the temple. The public would be invited to visit the temple beginning on Friday, 23 April 2010, continuing through Saturday, 15 May 2010, excluding Sundays. After the open house, the temple was scheduled to be formally dedicated on Sunday, 23 May 2010, in three dedicatory sessions. In conjunction with the temple dedication, a cultural celebration of music and dance throughout the region was scheduled for Saturday, 22 May 2010 at Mickelson Stadium at Eastern Arizona College.