Government’s �2.8m funding boost for Potters Bar school’s science block project

FUNDING for a new multi-million pound science block at a Potters Bar school has been given a huge boost by the Government.

Dame Alice Owen’s School has secured �2.79m matched funding from the Department for Education for the state-of-the-art facility.

With the Dugdale Hill Lane school’s governors committed to raising the other �3m, it’s now full steam ahead for building work.

Planning permission is already in place, and work is expected to begin in the summer holidays, ready for the block to be open in late 2013, the school’s 400th anniversary year.

Headteacher Dr Alan Davison said: “The whole school is delighted that we’ve secured this essential funding.

“The current science block is well past its sell-by date and needs to be replaced.

“This new building will provide first-class state-of-the-art facilities to allow our students to embrace science and go on to enhance the excellence already in place in the department.

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“The school has many students who go on to study sciences at Oxford and Cambridge and we have the largest number of students in the country studying chemistry A-level.

“By having the new science block we can allow more students to do chemistry at a much higher standard.”

The new building, which will be located next to the sports hall, will include five biology and chemistry classrooms, four physics classrooms, two prep rooms and a staff room.

It will be equipped with the latest technology and moveable walls, to allow lecture halls to be created.

A new pathway to the front entrance behind the sports hall will also be constructed.

Once the facility is open, the current science block, which dates back to the 1970s, will be demolished and the area landscaped to provide a green courtyard area in the centre of the school.

Governors already have �2m set aside from the Dame Alice Owen Foundation and other trusts and reserves.

In February last year the school and leading scientist Lord Robert Winston launched an appeal to raise the other �1m by the end of December 2013.

The fund currently stands at �510,000, boosted by a recent donation of �100,000 from a former student, and �50,000 from the Wolfson Trust.