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- Dr. Geeta Desai

India Temple Foundation was established in 1988. Early that year, a few members purchased a parcel of land in the town of Pocatello that could be used to build a temple. Some members felt that a site with better access was needed. In the later part of 1994, a member pledged to donate several acres of land in Fair Oaks to build a temple. The ITF board accepted this offer in early 1995. Various committees were established including fund-raising, murti, and construction. Despite many challenges and frustrations, their perseverance enabled the completion of the project.

Construction of Bharatiya Mandir

- Inder Jit Kumar, Project Manager

I wish to thank the Board of Directors of India Temple Foundation (ITF) for giving me the opportunity to serve as Project Manager for the Temple construction. I consider myself very fortunate to be a part of an enthusiastic and dedicated Building Committee responsible for construction of this magnificent project. The Building Committee consisted of Architect Ashok L. Sabnis, A.I.A, Bipin Gandhi, Om Arora and myself.

We Have been thinking of building the Temple for many years. The project got a tremendous boost when ten acres of land was donated by Pravin and Urmila Patel. Before the land donation we were making dream plans. Now we could make real plans. It was also the beginning of our fund raising drive with the seed dollar donated by Indira Beti, a great saint of Vaishnav Parampara.

We started working on the construction of Bharatiya Mandir in April, 1998. We wanted to be our own General Contractor and hire subcontractors for different trades. After the foundation walls were installed, we found that it would be better for us if we had a General Contractor do all the work. 

K.M. Martell Construction, Inc. was hired as the General Contractor in May 1998. The construction work has progressed very smoothly since K.M. Martell was awarded the project contract.

We were constantly worried about the availability of funds for the construction of this temple. The project has been completed by sheer dedication and hard work by the Fund Raising Committee and the Building Committee. The Indian Community in this area has been very supportive and has helped financially beyond our imagination. 

No project can be completed without approvals from the Town Planning Board. We are extremely grateful to the Town Wallkill Planning Boards, Mr. Richard McGoey, Planning Board Engineer, Town  Board, and Edwin Steenrod, Building Inspector for their kind support and approving the project very expeditiously.

We have employed unique construction materials in the building of this temple. The walls are constructed of six inch think solid concrete poured between two in thick Styrofoam forms. The out side Nova Bricks are screwed  into the plastic cross members holding the two inch forms together. The two inch styrofoam inside and outside of the concrete has provided us with a practically sound proof building which was badly needed because of its proximity to Route 17 traffic. It also gave us very good insulation with an R value of 41.

My special thanks to Jerry Nosenchuck for his assistance in the construction work. Whenever I needed help, he was there. I have spent hours on site and on telephone with him. ITF and I, personally are forever, grateful to him. I, also would like to express my grateful thanks to the Building Committee members for extending their full cooperation during the last 12 months.

We all in this Community are very lucky to take part in the building of this Temple for our Gods. Frankly, how often does someone get a chance to participate in building a Temple in his or her lifetime? The Temple is ready for occupancy. I sincerely hope that all of us, especially our children, will benefit from it.