Domino”s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan wants to build a 250-foot-high freestanding crucifix at his Domino”s Farms office park in Ann Arbor Township.
The 25-story structure, topped by a 40-foot figure of Christ, would be about as tall as the Statue of Liberty, and 51 feet shorter than the tip of its torch.
The crucifix was included in plans filed in July for Ave Maria University, which Monaghan wants to establish at the 275-acre Domino”s Farms complex in Ann Arbor Township.
The proposed crucifix “is really just conjectural at this time, and mostly in Mr. Monaghan”s head,” said William Koshelnyk, a spokesman for the Ave Maria Foundation, which Monaghan started in 1983.
Monaghan, 64, who sold most of his stake in Domino”s in 1998, has focused his energy and much of his fortune on advancing conservative Roman Catholic causes in recent years. He declined a Detroit News request for an interview, the newspaper said in yesterday”s report.
The proposed crucifix has drawn mixed reactions.
“It”s outrageous!” said Patricia Blom, who lives about a half-mile from Domino”s Farms. “I”m a Methodist, but this will offend people in this multireligious area.”
Another neighbor living about the same distance from Domino”s Farms said she was more concerned about the possible influx of up to 1,500 Ave Maria University students. Ave Maria College, founded by Monaghan in 1998, has 135 students at its existing location in nearby Ypsilanti.
“The religious aspect (of the crucifix) doesn”t really bother me, and I”m Jewish,” Karen Mendelson said. “But I just don”t like things sticking up in the air. And at 25 stories, it”s going to be absurd looking.”
The crucifix and campus plan are under review by the township Planning Commission. It will decided within the next few months whether to recommend a zoning change that would allow the school to relocate from its current location in Ypsilanti.