Buddhists look ahead to new temple

The Fresno Bee, Aug. 28, 2009

Fresco, CA (USA) -- There’s a sense of excitement in the Buddhist community over the new Family Dharma Center taking shape on East Alluvial Avenue in Clovis.

It’s been a long time coming for Fresno Buddhist Temple, a Kern Street fixture since 1902, whose members have wanted to move to the area where many of their young families live. Plans are for a new temple with stadium-style seating, small chapel, administrative offices and the Family Dharma Center with gymnasium and classrooms.

So excited are Buddhist officials that they have been giving tours of the construction to central San Joaquin Valley congregations affiliated with the temple.

Tour-goers notice the striking “beam” architecture — and the immediate neighbors. To the west is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno in Clovis. To the north is Northside Christian Church in Clovis. Temple officials remain busy raising funds. Project committee member Bob Ishikawa writes in this month’s temple newsletter that a campaign has begun to raise $300,000 for the classrooms, gymnasium back boards and other items.

The temple’s minister, the Rev. Nobuo Miyaji, current board chairwoman Paula Kanagawa, and building project committee member Glenn Hamamoto also traveled this month to Koyto and Tokyo to raise funds for the second-phase temple.