Mastery Schools of Camden collaborated with Blackney Hayes Architects to create their newest renaissance school located in the Cramer Hill section of Camden, NJ. As their first completely new, ground-up construction building, the design of Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary School will serve as a prototype for the growth of future Mastery schools. The new 3-story, K-8 school houses 750 new students in a 90,000 square foot building that includes new classrooms, administrative spaces a library/technology center, cafeteria /auditorium and gymnasium.
This project demonstrates the value of retaining historic buildings and repurposing them, while retaining original materials. The facility contains nontraditional classrooms for collaborative learning, an arts / music wing, cafeteria and global resource center. The interior design includes carpet with 65% recycled content, reused light fixtures and abundant natural light. Exposed brick walls create a warm historic background contrasted against bright colors and furnishings to create a unique, stimulating environment.
The school’s semi-circular shape transformed an urban street into a courtyard, while careful placement of glass-lined corridors and classrooms allowed students to enjoy the views of greenery wherever they traveled in the building. Each classroom creates a unique learning environment of a small-learning community, thus encouraging teamwork and inspiring collaborative projects. The American Institute of Architects has bestowed the Feltonville Academy of Arts & Sciences an award for Architectural Excellence.
Blackney Hayes has designed a new K-5, 70,000 SF school that will allow enrollment of up to 600 students. The new building consists of a large classroom wing and a separate wing with a gym and cafeteria. A secluded courtyard provides a safe outdoor play environment. Car drop-off will run through the school site to ensure students safety. BHA paid special attention to safety, natural daylight harvesting and neighborhood aesthetics.
Radnor Middle School was designed to achieve LEED certification, featuring technologies developed for lowering energy and operating costs, while increasing indoor air quality and, creating the best possible learning environment for its students. Green technologies implemented include green roofs, daylighting for classroom spaces, geothermal heating and cooling, high recycled content in building materials, and safe atmosphere-friendly finishes. Radnor was designated a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
The new 36,000 SF Quaker School provides specialized education for bright students with diverse learning styles. The new school features sixteen classrooms, strategically placed to ensure continuity within the curriculum, as well as attached learning pods for mentoring. The school also includes offices for teachers, a new gymnasium, and rooms for occupational therapy, music, art, shop, science and a library.
Since 2004, BHA has worked with Mastery Charter School on converting nearly 15 outdated schools into suitable facilities. For example, the C. Thomas School was transformed into a 70,000 SF high school for 400 students. BHA’s design included updating the school by adding central circulation, an exterior entrance plaza, improved traffic flow and lighting. Similar design solutions were provided for Pickett, Shoemaker and Lenfest- which also includes a gym addition.