A major refurbishment to a science block at a popular school is nearing completion.
Priory Academy in Penwortham has spent £750,000 on creating a new science block which will be completed by May, ready for use in Septmber.
The refurbishment follows hard on the heels of a new £1m languages and humanities centre.
The project has seen extensive remodelling of the existing science laboratories to create an open plan learning environment, which will help to deliver more cohesive and collaborative teaching approaches to Physics, Biology and Chemistry lessons.
The ultra-modern facilities at the Crow Hills Road school includes wet and dry laboratories, preparation areas and a living wall.
Originally built in 1954, the science block will also receive a new roof and upgrades made to the thermal performance with new installation will significantly improve the fabric of the building.
A few months ago the science teachers walked out of an old, dreary area that reflected how science lessons used to be in the 50s and 60s and this week they walked into an area that, even though not complete, was spacious, light, modern and inspiring.Matt Eastham - Headteacher
Headteacher Matt Eastham, who took over the reins in September, said: “It’s amazing – it certainly has the wow factor.
“A few months ago the science teachers walked out of an old, dreary area that reflected how science lessons used to be in the 50s and 60s and this week they walked into an area that, even though not complete, was spacious, light, modern and inspiring.
“All the staff were taken aback with the difference and were extremely positive and excited by what they saw – but not only because of the fabric of the building, but because they could envisage the potential of how science lessons can be delivered in the future at Priory.
“Instead of having traditional labs off corridors, what we’re creating are learning spaces that reflect real work environments, and that can only be a good thing as we prepare our pupils for life beyond Priory.”
There will be guided tours around the new block in the summer term and the school is planning for a grand unveiling of the buildings.
Mr Eastham said: “I’m excited by the prospect of a grand opening. We want to do it at a weekend, in order for as many of our pupils, families and local community to come and visit - not only to have a look around but to be able to have a go at some practical science experiments as well.”
Science teacher Rebecca Honeyman, who oversaw the experiment in Priory’s old labs which saw student Jamie Edwards become the world’s youngest fusioneer by creating nuclear fusion at Priory, is overwhelmed by her new labs.
She said: “It’s so exciting to see the foundations of what will be an amazing learning space for our students at Priory.
“We can already see how open the science learning spaces will be and this will allow our students to have a more collaborative approach to their learning. We will be able to merge classes and to use teacher’s specialisms to their advantage. The high standards of facilities will allow for more in-depth scientific enquiry and will only enthuse our students more about STEM subjects.”