Karen Morgan OBE DL, newly installed Chair of Governors at Colston’s School, officially opened the Science Block on Wednesday 1st December 2010, following completion of a £1.2 million programme of refurbishment over the last three summers.
She cut the traditional ribbon in the company of Sixth Form students, and was taken on a tour of the laboratories by Dr Andy Martin, Acting Head of Science, accompanied by other members of the governing body.
“As a scientist I really envy these young people at Colston’s for the facilities they now enjoy in these labs,” she said.
Mrs Morgan, who has succeeded David Marsh as Chair, gained a First Class Honours Degree in Chemistry from Edinburgh University, worked at ICI and went on to work with environmental bodies, serving on the boards of the National Rivers Authority and the Environment Agency.
“It really is a great honour and pleasure as the new Chair to open this fantastic facility,” she added. “At over £1 million, this represents a really important capital project for the school.”
The refurbishment included completely re-equipping all seven laboratories. Three of them - advanced chemistry, advanced physics and advanced biology – have been extended in size.
Extra space had been achieved as a result of the move of IT from the science block to the first floor of Bishop’s Palace.
A new preparation room and staff work room have been created on the first floor, and there is now an enlarged preparation room on the ground floor.
“This new ground floor prep room has become the hub of the science block, directly supporting teaching,” Dr Martin said. “The seven labs are now all ‘state of the art’, and one particular feature we have noticed as the project has developed is the benefit of IT.
“The ability to plug in, access information and the internet, and display it from ceiling mounted data projectors frees up significant extra teaching time. Lesson time is better used, and of course conditions for pupils and staff are much more comfortable.”