Unique construction project under way at FLDS ranch

An unusual building is under construction on the FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas.

John Hollenhurst report for KSL TV

Photos obtained by locals indicate its purpose may be to house a large statue of the church’s leader, Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for raping two underage girls.

Judge Jimmy Doyle has used his aircraft for years to keep an eye on the YFZ Ranch. He goes airborne every few weeks on a photo mission.

Over the years, Judge Doyle and his son have seen many building projects — but nothing like the new one going up.

“(It’s) very unusual, and expensive,” Doyle said. “They’ve spent a lot of money.”

It’s a semi-circle of poured concrete with walls that stand 30 feet high.

“We don’t know what that is and, as with anyone else, we cannot explain what that is,” Doyle said.

The terraced floor suggests an auditorium or conference center. The Eldorado Success newspaper recently measured it with Google Earth: On one side it’s 289 feet, almost as long as a football field.

The large dimensions re presumably because Warren Jeffs wanted it stadium-sized. “I think he calls the shots on everything, even though he’s locked up,” Doyle said.

Some outsiders suspect the building is a new FLDS Temple to replace the one less than a mile away which was supposedly desecrated when Texas Rangers seized evidence against Jeffs in 2008.

View Yearning For Zion ranch in a larger map

At her Polygamy Blog in The Salt Lake Tribune Lindsay Whitehurst has also been keeping track of the new building.

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This post was last updated: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Central European Time (CET)