The Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
Thriven Design provided comprehensive architectural, engineering, and interior design services for the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center — a 120,000 square foot, state-of-the-art community facility located on a river-front, former brownfield site in downtown Camden, New Jersey. Nearly three football fields in length, the new Kroc Center provides recreational, health, educational, cultural, family, and spiritual programming to area residents, while simultaneously serving as the hub for Salvation Army services in the Tri-County region. The facility includes both indoor and outdoor recreational spaces, including basketball courts, a regulation little league baseball field with lighting for night games, a softball field, a soccer/lacrosse/field hockey pitch, meandering natural walking paths, a playground, as well as a concessions facility with restrooms. On-site parking has been provided for 250 cars, as well as additional space for bus parking.
The indoor program for the Kroc Center is divided into three distinct and themed areas meant to serve the Mind, Body and Spirit. The interior fitness spaces include an 11,000 square foot gymnasium with spectator seating; an aquatic center with an 8-lane competition-sized pool and indoor water park; an exercise center with associated dance studios; a thirty-foot rock climbing wall; and comprehensive locker room facilities with showers and dressing rooms. There are social gathering spaces for teens and youths, a senior center, drop-in babysitting services, a 200-seat black box, performing arts theater, and a 250-seat chapel. Available social services include a family life and personal development center, classrooms, art room, computer lab, music room, library learning center, a commercial kitchen, an early childhood education center serving 90 preschool children, and a health clinic run by Cooper Hospital. All of these spaces converge and connect at the heart of the center and main entrance to the facility—an 8,000 square foot indoor Town Plaza gathering space set beneath a spectacular translucent skylight.