CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — The State of New Jersey is prepared to spend $133 million to replace the century old Camden High School.
A formal vote on the plan by the School Development Authority is set for Wednesday in Trenton.
The school has been in bad shape for years, and there’s been a lot of debate about what to do. Just ask Camden Schools Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard.
“The building is in disrepair and its infrastructure is crumbling and that’s not good for kids,” Rouhanfard told KYW Newsradio. “And so what we want to do is do right by the community, do right by future generations of students while honoring the legacy of the school.”
Governor Chris Christie announced a $50 million renovation plan two years ago, but it’s now been determined that a new building will be more cost efficient.
Seven hundred students now attending the high school will have to be moved.
“We’re going to work really, really closely with the staff, principals, the families to share a proposed plan,” Rouhanifard said. “We have about a year before we need to figure out the space needs for these students.”
Plans are to keep all the students and staff together in a temporary location. Demolition and reconstruction would take four years to complete and the new school would accommodate some 1,200 students in four different “academies” that Rouhanifard said are still to be developed.
The new building will include a tower in the front, an effort to honor the building that will be coming down. The current building includes an iconic tower that has prompted people to nickname the high school the “Castle on the Hill.”