News & Stories

Courier-Post: Renaissance School Debuts in Camden

by Jim Walsh

Elementary students at Kipp Cooper Norcross Academy were excited to receive new backpacks on Sept. 1, 2015.

Elementary students at Kipp Cooper Norcross Academy received new backpacks on Sept. 1, 2015.

CAMDEN — The city’s first newly built Renaissance school has dozens of classrooms on three floors, a gym big enough for two basketball courts and an all-purpose room that comfortably seats hundreds of uniformed students.

But despite all that, the 110,000-square-foot KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy can’t meet the demand for its services.

“We are overenrolled, with a waiting list of about 360 kids,” Drew Martin, the academy’s executive director, said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, this year we won’t be able to add space for everyone.”

Renaissance schools, although part of the city school district, are state-funded facilities run by nonprofit managers. Unlike charter schools, they are intended to serve students in specific neighborhoods.

The $41 million facility, on Broadway a short distance from the city’s downtown, is the district’s first new building since  Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy opened in 2011.

It’s also the first of three Renaissance schools expected to rise in Camden over the next few years.

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