January saw the official opening of the new £3m Science and Mathematics block at Sandringham School designed by Property Tectonics’ (pt) Design Director, Tim Dale BSc (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA. The new block has state of the art facilities for teaching Science in super-sized laboratories. The faculty is also housed in an adjoining purpose-built block, which consists of eight further laboratories and one preparation area.
pt were appointed in early 2014 following the school securing funding for the expansion project. To enable the new buildings to be ready for the start of the academic year in 2015/2016, it was necessary to ensure that construction work started in Summer 2014. Accordingly there was only a 6 month period to carry out the detailed design, obtain Planning Consent and procure the works. Despite the challenging timescale, construction started during July 2014 with works completed in August 2015.
The new building was opened by Dr. Kevin Fong, a Consultant Anaesthetist at University College London (UCL) Hospitals. He is also an Honorary Senior lecturer in physiology at UCL where he organises and runs an undergraduate course Extreme Environment Physiology. He is an expert on space medicine in the UK and is the co-director of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine (CASE Medicine), University College London (UCL).
To mark the opening of the new block, Sandringham School was chosen by the European Space Agency to be the first school to make live contact with astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station (ISS). History was made when contact with the ISS was established on Friday 8th January via amateur radio and ten students had the opportunity to pose questions to Tim as he flew overhead on the ISS.