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September 3, 2021
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Member News

‘Castle on the Hill’ Makes its Debut: Celebrating Camden’s New $133M High School

By DIGroup Architecture

New Brunswick, NJ/Philadelphia, PA – 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 Academy; Big Picture Learning Academy; and Brimm Medical Arts.

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 an iconic community centerpiece.

Crucially important to the project was the involvement of the local community and the student 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.

Read about Camden High School Grand Opening elsewhere:

New Camden High complex completed with a nod to its historic ‘castle on the hill’ past; The Philadephia Inquirer

A new icon: Camden High, rebuilt and reimagined, makes its debut; Cherry Hill Courier-Post

N.J. district opens $133M high school on site of former century-old school some fought to keep; NJ.com

Camden Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony For New High School Campus; CBS Philly

ABOUT DIGROUP ARCHITECTURE:
DIGroup Architecture is one of the area’s largest minority-, disadvantaged and small business enterprise (MBE-DBE-SBE) 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 reuse 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 Philadelphia and New York City.

DIGroup Architecture has planned and designed many of the New Jersey’s most significant educational projects at over 40 high schools, both in traditional settings and technology-rich, career-ready environments, which has earned them the reputation as an expert in high school design.

DIG ranks among the top Minority Businesses and Architectural firms by Philadelphia Business Journal and NJBIZ. For more information on the firm, please contact: Debra Koehler, at [email protected] or 215.6934.3400.

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