Staff, parents and governors at Wootton Upper School are celebrating the opening of new state-of-the-art science laboratories.
A special event was held on Saturday, January 27, to mark the relaunch of six of the school’s original science laboratories and a prep room following a major refurbishment project. The laboratories opened in the mid-1970s and were in urgent need of renovation.
Academy trustee Jon Billington secured funding from Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council to enable the vital update to take place, the planning for which began in 2015.
The project involved the expertise of local architects BE1 and building contractor, Gray and Sons Builders Limited, who managed the project.
As part of the revamp, modern pear-drop stations were installed instead of traditional science benches to improve practical work.
Michael Gleeson, executive principal for Wootton Academy Trust, said: “I’m delighted to unveil our brand new science facilities which will vastly improve the learning experience for our pupils.
“This project has been a long and painstaking process and I’m so grateful to the trustees, staff, parents, Gray and Sons and BE1 for their unfaltering support and enthusiasm. Work was completed with minimal disruption to teaching thanks to the hard work, cooperation and patience of our science staff and I’m thrilled everybody can now benefit from the wonderful facilities.
“Alongside the first class teaching Wootton Upper School provides, we also have fantastic, modern facilities to engage our pupils and encourage them to fulfil their potential. We are always striving to improve the learning environment to help children excel and have already hit the ground running in our bid to secure funding for phase two of the project, which will involve the renovation of J Block in the near future.”
Wootton Academy Trust has applied for a Government grant to fund its refurbishment plans for J Block and is awaiting the outcome of this bid. As soon as funds become available, work will get underway.
At the opening, visitors were invited on a tour of the new facilities where they could watch pupils embark on a range of experiments in their new surroundings.