After 12 Years, Chandler Mosque Prepares to Open

July 23, 2008

Author: Lawn Griffiths

Source: East Valley Tribune

When the holy month of Ramadan arrives Sept. 1, about 400 Muslim families in the south East Valley will finally have their own masjid, or mosque. They'll gather there for their nightly prayer services and cultural activities, meals and events that traditionally make a mosque a center of Islamic community life.

It's been 12 years of delays and setbacks, escalating costs and several turnovers of building contractors, but the Islamic Center of the East Valley is nearing completion at 425 N. Alma School Road in Chandler. Only part of the three-story, 10,000-square-foot mosque will be ready for Ramadan, but that is a miracle in light of the way things looked on May 1, just before trustees brought contractor Jalil Ahmed into the picture.

"He has just been a blessing from God for us," said trustee and communications director David Hadley. "Now the project is back on track and moving very quickly."

The mosque, with a 30-foot-high dome that will be painted gold, sits on property purchased in 1996. The building is located deep in the middle of a large parcel reached by a long driveway from Alma School Road. The dome will be topped by Islam's symbol, the crescent. A traditional minaret, or prayer tower, will be erected later with a crescent on top.