£1m investment in Gloucestershire science labs
By Sarah Wood
Denmark Road High School in Gloucester has been awarded £1.15 million from the Department of Education's Condition Improvement Fund to build two new science labs and three new classrooms.
The DfE funding, along with a further £175,000 from the school budget, will be used to fund three important infrastructure improvement projects at the school.
The biggest project will be the creation of two state-of-the-art science labs. These will be built in the space created by the removal of obsolete mobile classrooms.
In the Grade II listed main school building, two existing labs, which are no longer fit for purpose, will be converted into three new multi-purpose classrooms, offering contemporary learning spaces.
Work will start on the new classrooms and laboratories this summer, with a completion date of Easter 2022.
The funding will also be used for urgent upgrades to the electrical systems and switchgear in the Victorian-era main building of the girls' grammar school, with additional improvements to emergency and external lighting.
The final project will see the roof of the 1960s English block replaced. The new roof will provide significantly improved insulation to reduce energy costs.
Claire Giblin, headteacher, said: "This is fantastic news for the school and all our students. The science department have been driving the recent growth of our sixth form.
"I am delighted that our future medics and vets will finally have the dynamic facilities needed to meet the demands and practical elements of our exciting new science curriculum."
Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester, said: "As we come out of the pandemic, all sectors and education especially, will need help in different ways. An old school building like Denmark Road literally needs a 'Build Back Better' approach to modernise facilities for the teaching of STEM subjects and help pupils achieve great things afterwards.
"So, this £1m win by the school from a government fund for building improvements and new science labs is a huge step forward for the school and its pupils."
Denmark Road High School, heralded by the Sunday Times as 'Masters of Reinvention', has grown significantly in student numbers since Claire Giblin became headteacher in January 2018.
She said: "We have nearly 200 more students now across our main school and Sixth Form. Therefore, the three new classrooms will be a much-needed addition. The new rooms will be versatile learning spaces, which will enable us to incorporate new technologies and collaborative working opportunities."
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