CAMDEN, NJ—The Salvation Army Kroc Center in East Camden will soon have more space to help serve the community.A 4,400-square-feet addition to the south end of the community center was approved by the Camden City Planning board recently. 

The addition will include an indoor half-court basketball court, which will also function as a multi-purpose room, according to project architect Stephen L. Schoch, of Kitchen & Associates.

The cost of the project is about $1 million, according to Steve Dixon, business director at the Kroc Center. Dixon added that available funding from the will of Joan Kroc, who donated $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army to build 26 community centers all across the country, will finance the addition.

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“[The addition] will not increase the amount of people using the Kroc Center, it will provide a lot more flexibility for the existing programs and members,”  Dixon said in his testimony to the planning board.

According to Dixon, The community center needed another space to serve its members when its facilities are being used by city schools, charter schools or its summer program, which has close to 300 students enrolled each summer, Dixon said.

“It’s really going to help us serve the community,” said Dixon, who added that the community center hopes to go out to bid for a construction manager next month for the project.

“It’s a relatively modest addition, but it will provide great flexibility to serve its members and its programming,” said Schock.

The addition will use the same material as the rest of the 120,000 square-foot campus, and should blend into the current structure.  "You would simply think it was one more part of a very large and functional multi-purpose facility," Shcock said.

The Kroc Center, located at 1865 Harrison Ave., opened in 2014 and features a competition pool, water park, fitness and dance studios, a multi-purpose gym, black box theater, chapel and community room. It also provides the community with a number of programs, including sports leagues, afterschool programs, activities and education for seniors and community education, among others. The planning board approved the expansion on June 14.