Unbuilding an Illinois Church

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Piece by piece, the former worship center of Grace Valley Christian Reformed Church in German Valley, Ill., came down—but the materials live on.

In a move that was both cost-effective and an act of stewardship, Grace Valley CRC partnered with a company to take apart the old worship center and resell the materials for use in other capacities.

 “The cost of demolition is really staggering when you look at landfill fees of $40-60 a ton,” said Rev. Jake Ritzema. “It was going to cost a substantial amount to take it down that way.”

After receiving bids from companies to either demolish the worship center or take it down one piece at a time, the church went with the latter approach.

The deconstruction cost about five times less, said Ritzema, and the vast majority of the building could be salvaged. The project was completed in about two weeks.

“It’s really neat to know that the materials are going to be reused again wherever they find their outlets,” Ritzema said.

The church, which has been growing steadily over the past several years, finished construction on a new worship center in 2010. It was built to be as energy efficient as possible, from zoned heating and air conditioning to reduced water usage in the kitchen and restrooms.

“It’s just so positive to see God’s wave of grace help a church grow and thrive,” Ritzema said. “It has been such an encouragement.”

About the Author

Melissa Holtrop

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