Excellent points, Billy.
This rumor is a knife in the heart of the earlier stories that construction was winding down so that the final push was being made in preaching before the great tribulation.
I didn't think about that part. So, they're halting or slowing down the construction so they can focus on the preaching work??? Well, then why are they very soon going back into construction work - this time seemingly with even more vigor??? These folks don't make sense.