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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints secured apartments near its Provo Missionary Training Center to house more missionaries.
The LDS Church announced on Wednesday that it had acquired the Raintree Commons apartments at 1849 N. 200 West and parts of the Wyview Park apartments which are owned by BYU at 1940 N. 146 West, according to a church news release.
The acquisitions are meant to accommodate the influx of missionaries since the church lowered the age requirement. Just two weeks after LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson announced that young men could go on full-time missions at age 18 (down from 19) and young women could go at 19 (down from 21) in October, applications skyrocketed from an average of 700 a week to 4,000 a week.
About 2,000 missionaries will occupy the apartments, some as soon as May. The church also plans to install temporary structures nearby to help provide services to the missionaries, according to the release.
There are more than a dozen other LDS missionary training centers in the world, but Provo's is the flagship facility, handling 80 percent of the load.
The church originally planned to build a nine-story tower to replace five cramped classroom structures. But the church backed away from those plans in October citing a "number of complexities and concerns." Some neighbors opposed its height.
The church still hopes to double the capacity of the Provo MTC, and is currently reviewing its options with Provo City and neighbors of the building.