September 16, 2021
New Brunswick, NJ – DIGroup Architecture added to its pristine reputation of delivering large urban school replacement projects to communities throughout New Jersey with the ribbon-cutting of the new Camden High School — a sprawling, four-school campus totaling 270,000 square feet for 1,200 students in grades 9-12. In a design-build partnership with Ernest Bock & Sons of Philadelphia, the two-story educational structure features three magnet schools: Creative Arts High School; Big Picture Learning Academy; and Charles Brimm Medical Arts High School.
Reverence for the original 1916 Camden High School, demolished in 2017, and its iconic role in the neighborhood’s history, growth, and presence as an anchor of the city, was a prominent theme through the design and reconstruction of the replacement school. DIG helped integrate significant elements of the former historic high school building’s original construction into the fabric of the new High School—establishing a legacy site of both the history and future of Camden. Such iconic pieces as the arch from the former school’s main entrance and others were carefully installed throughout the campus and serve as interpretive exhibits to educate and celebrate the history of Camden High School as a community centerpiece.
Crucially important to the project was the involvement of the local community and the students themselves, who participated in the design process. According to Principal Jeffrey Venezia, “We are thrilled to have once again completed an important project for the urban public-school students of NJ here in Camden. Creating a safe, secure and sustainable facility connected to its rich and diverse history has been both an honor and a privilege for all of us at DIG.”
As the first public high school to be constructed in over a century in the City of Camden, this is a new era for the students who are welcomed into a light-filled, modern learning environment with an abundance of offerings from classrooms, science and robotic labs, broadcast studios, and maker spaces, to performance venues, fitness spaces, locker rooms and courtyards.
ABOUT DIGROUP ARCHITECTURE:
DIGroup Architecture is one of the area’s largest minority-owned and disadvantaged (MBE-DBE) architectural firms specializing in architecture, planning, interior design and environmental graphics, signage and wayfinding services for Education, Healthcare, Senior Living and Civic clients. The firm is known for regenerating urban areas through redevelopment, preservation, adaptive re-use and new construction. The company takes great pride in its ethnically and culturally diverse staff who are passionate about architecture.
Camden High School ranks among the top three largest school projects completed in the firm’s history and adds to a robust educational portfolio of urban design projects – exceeding $1 billion in construction in the last ten years – that spans into New York City as well. DIGroup Architecture has planned and designed many of the state’s most significant educational projects at over 40 high schools. Their extensive experience in the specialized needs of today’s varied high school programs, both in traditional settings and technology-rich, career-ready environments, has earned them the reputation as an expert in high school design.
DIG ranks among the top Minority Businesses and Architectural firms by NJBIZ and Philadelphia Business Journal. For more information on the firm, please contact: Debra Koehler, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732.249.6242 X110.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA Central New Jersey, Architecture in NJ, Business | Tagged: #AIA, #AIANJ, #Architecture, #CamdenHighSchool, #CastleontheHill, #K12, #SchoolArchitecture, Camden, DIGroup | Comments (0)
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