New Science Centre - Opening 2023
Princethorpe College’s new £8m Science Centre is set to open in 2023 after receiving approval from Trustees.
The Science Centre, which features 10 brand-new, state-of-the-art Science laboratories, will ultimately transform the College’s entire campus allowing other areas to be redeveloped and departments clustered within the main school building.
The project, the College’s largest and most ambitious to date, has undergone a comprehensive and lengthy design, planning, costing and tendering process over the last five years. The contract for the main build has been awarded to Trendgrey Construction Limited, based in nearby Stockton. Trendgrey is well-known to The Princethorpe Foundation having completed the Sixth Form Resource Centre at Princethorpe in 2014, The Gables at Crackley Hall in 2016 and the Horton Centre at Crescent School in 2021.
Construction will begin in February 2022 and is estimated to take around 14 months, with the building expected to open its doors for teaching in September 2023.
“The Trustees are delighted to give approval for work to commence on the Science Centre at Princethorpe. This really is a landmark decision in the strategic development of the College and is testament to the strong position the Foundation finds itself in today. Many congratulations to Trendgrey on being awarded the contract after a very competitive tendering process."
“It is fantastic that our vision for the future of Princethorpe will now become a reality. This announcement is great news for the Princethorpe community; the Science Centre project brings with it so many exciting campus-wide benefits and these cutting-edge teaching and learning facilities will inspire generations of Princethorpe pupils and staff for years to come.”
How you can support the new Science Centre
How is the project being funded?
The project is being funded through a combination of generous philanthropic support, fee income and a bank loan.
What will the Science Centre provide?
At nearly 1,800 square metres the Science Centre will provide four Biology laboratories, three Chemistry and three Physics laboratories, two staff bases, two preparation areas, an office, a breakout and study area and additional toilet facilities. The Physics laboratories will be sited on the ground floor, the Chemistry laboratories on the first floor with two Biology laboratories on both the ground and first floor. All laboratories will be fully accessible, with an induction loop system and there will be a passenger lift between the two floors.
When will the Science Centre open?
The construction period is estimated to last 14 months and it is hoped that the building will be handed over to the school in April 2023, in readiness for it to open its doors for teaching in September 2023.
Where will the Science Centre be sited?
The Science Centre will adjoin the north end of
The Limes and will link with the existing building at ground and first floor levels. The main entrance will front onto the Lime Walk.
What are the other campus-wide benefits?
Geography, Economics and Business Studies will be able to move from the outside temporary classrooms into permanent homes in the main building; History and Politics will be clustered in the East Wing; Mathematics, Latin and Technology will gain more space and Sixth Form students will benefit from more extra quiet workspaces for private study. There will be Tuck Shop improvements and we will ultimately gain new additional multiuse outdoor courts for Tennis and Netball.
What about the construction of the building?
The building is of traditional construction, using blockwork infill around a steel frame, wooden trusses with a slate roof, precast staircases and concrete floors. Architectural details mean that The Science Centre will be very distinctive and modern but will harmonise with the existing built environment at Princethorpe. The building will require in the region of 71,000 bricks, 22,000 blocks and 10,000 roof slates.
How will the construction be managed safely on site with the school in session?
The health and safety of all our pupils and staff is our number one priority. A secure compound will be established on site and deliveries and construction traffic will come onto site at carefully managed times, accessing the construction area via the road that was put in place for The Limes, near the entrance to the Orchard and behind the Tennis Courts.
How ‘green’ and sustainable is the new building?
This will be an ‘intelligent’ building, driven by an integrated digital Building Management System to optimise heating and ventilation; there will be underfloor heating throughout and it will also have the latest standards of insulation. Infrastructure will be put in place to allow a progression, in time, to Ground Source Heat Pumps, likely to combine gas/hydrogen redundancy for reliability. There will be LED illumination throughout, with presence sensors and daylight sensors to control light levels. Photovoltaics on the roof will have a panel area of 137m2, generating 21.821MWh annually with a Carbon offset of 6.8 tonnes/annum.
An energy performance monitor in the ground floor circulation area and visible to all will give a real-time picture of the building’s energy performance. Locally employed labour and materials suppliers helps to keep commuting miles and transport miles to a minimum, to mitigate our carbon footprint.
How will this affect employment opportunities in our area?
One of the real strengths of engaging a local contractor employing its own labour force for many aspects of the project means that many of the trades will live nearby. Involving local suppliers, too, such as steel fabricators and mechanical and electrical engineering contractors, helps to support the local economy. At the height of the construction phase there could easily be in excess of ten trades and fifty personnel on site.