Building tear down: former church in front of Clague is bulldozed


Sara-Beth Badalamente

The church across the street from Clague got torn down last week.

Satvika Ramanathan

Over spring break, the former building of the Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church was demolished. 

In December of 2018, Ann Arbor Public Schools bought the church located in front of Clague Middle School off of Nixon Road. Prior to that, in 2016, the building was sold to a daycare company, Rainbow Rascals. School board member Jeff Gaynor was a part of the process.

“The district was very worried about the increased traffic,” Gaynor said. “It would be coming along, especially with the shared access to the driveway from Nixon road for both the school and the daycare.” 

Rainbow Rascals was then looking at the church and the property again in December 2018 and realized that the building wasn’t in good condition to have a daycare. 

“They came to the school district and said that if we’re worried about traffic they have a solution: ‘you can buy the property from us,’” Gaynor said. 

The district paid $850,000 for the building on December 19, 2018. 

A year later, in December of 2019, AAPS bought the house and property on the other side of the driveway to Clague. According to Gaynor, the district looked into building another school building, but there wasn’t enough space; they could probably fit only one or two grades in the space. 

In September of 2020, AAPS approved a contract to demolish the church and the house. They couldn’t extend on the building, though, because they needed a specific amount of parking space for cars. 

The church got torn down just last week. Gaynor said that the contracted cost to tear down the building was estimated at $135,107.