Oundle School will soon break ground to extend the current SciTec building on Glapthorn Road, creating a new SciTec Campus for Science, Design and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The expected completion date is September 2016.
The project will bring a new Mathematics department adjacent to both Sciences, and an upgraded Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. The school estimates that the project will cost £7.5m.
The original engineering workshop building is over 80 years old. The new building will extend the Patrick Engineering Centre and house the entire Design and Technology department under one roof.
Headmaster, Charles Bush said: ‘Engineering is the lifeblood of Oundle’s history and heritage. The School must continue to inspire pupils to become engineers to carry on the tradition for the good of the nation.’
He continued: ‘The future of science and engineering over the next 15 to 20 years will involve the blurring of disciplines and the aim of the SciTec campus is to enable young minds to think with an increasingly interdisciplinary focus which will help them succeed at university and in industry.’
The school commissioned the firm, Van Heyningen and Haward Architects to design the project, which will utilise construction methods that maximise natural light, ventilation and thermal efficiency. The design incorporates a grand entrance that will be redirected on to Glapthorn Road.
Construction will start in April 2015, although some enabling works to the Patrick Centre have already begun. The new facilities will be up and running by September 2016, the start of the academic year.
The school is aware that the development may cause some minor disruption for the town and the local area, but is keen that it should cause no major problems.
Mr Bush said: ‘The school is fortunate to be located in the beautiful town of Oundle. Completing the new SciTec Campus will greatly enhance the town landscape.’
He also anticipates that the finished SciTec campus will allow even more scope for members of the community to make use of the school’s facilities.
In recent years, Oundle School has seen the refurbishment of its English department on North Street, the new Adamson Building for Modern Foreign Languages and the Cripps Library. After the SciTec Campus, the school is planning a major project to improve its sports facilities, beginning with a new cricket pavilion which is due to open in time for the 2015 season.
by Thomas Bailey