The LEAP Academy University “S.T.E.M.” Charter School is an adaptive re-use of a former historical site in Camden, NJ. The new 60,000 square foot K-12 building consists of academic spaces as well as science & technology laboratories.
The selected development site included five attached three story structures, the historic Chaney Houses (originally designed by Architect Arthur Truscott and constructed in 1892), and a parking lot. All of the buildings would need to be demolished for the new school. Because of the historic significance of the Chaney House facade, the Camden Historic Commission required that it be preserved and not demolished with the other structures. In keeping with the requirements of the historical commission the design team decided to preserve and restore the existing Chaney House facade and incorporate it into the exterior design of the new STEM building. The shoring and preservation of the existing facade was a major undertaking and earned our firm a 2012 Excellence in Structural Engineering Outstanding Project Award presented by the Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers.