Description of Project:
The new Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) is located at 1602 Pine Street near Forest Hill School.
The school includes 37 classrooms for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students ages 3 through 5. The facility accommodates a curriculum for students with disabilities. ECDC has allocated dedicated classrooms for music, art instruction, and 10 additional small group instruction spaces for specialized programs. A parent room for teacher-student-parent interaction is also part of the model of the new ECDC. The school includes a cafeteria with a kitchen, a gymnasium/multi-purpose room for 150 students, a media center and occupational/physical therapy space. The school is approximately 81,800 square feet. The ECDC accommodates 444 students and members of the faculty.
The school was designed by The Hillier Group, of Princeton, New Jersey. The Henderson Corporation was the general contractor for the project and Don Todd Associates, the project management firm. The school opened to students on January 5, 2009.
ECDC was built on the site of a previous school. Initial construction work started in April 2005 but was suspended when environmental issues were discovered. Extensive studies and investigations were conducted. A remedial plan was adopted and approved by the Camden Board of Education and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The plan, involving extensive remediation and use of new, clean soil, was presented to the Parkside community in July 2006. Surface soils currently meet NJDEP standards. In October 2006, construction work re-started on the ECDC site, proceeding through completion.