Camden High Is Put On Top 10 List For Preservation, But That Probably Won’t Stop Demolition

CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — People opposed to the planned demolition and replacement of Camden High School are buoyed by a move by a New Jersey group that seeks to preserve endangered and historic buildings

Preservation New Jersey’s annual top 10 list includes the century-old building known to neighbors as the “Castle on the Hill.”

Board member Penelope Watson says activists in Camden asked the group to put it on the list.

“Even if it can’t be saved as a high school, which I think it can be, it could be saved as a community center or some sort of other facility that the people of Camden could use,” Watson told KYW Newsradio.

Other local buildings on that top 10 list include Brick’s Mincemeat Factory in Chesterfield and the Colemantown Meetinghouse in Mount Laurel, Burlington County.

Those advocating to save Camden High will have to move fast, if they hope to stop demolition which is set to begin this summer.

District Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard says he understands the neighborhood angst, but it’s professionals making the call here.

“Technical experts, architects, and engineers have taken a close look at the building and it’s in such disrepair that, unless we raze it and build a new building, we’re just not going to see benefits for our kids,” Rouhanifard said

Camden High students would be relocated for four years while the new building goes up.

The old school’s history would be represented in the new building, with some relics sent to the Camden Historical Society for use in a nearby garden.

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