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    Topping Out Ceremony Marks Milestone for QKB2

    Staff and pupils from the Senior School joined representatives from construction company SDC for an official topping-out ceremony at the highest point of the School’s new Science and Maths building today.

    Staff and pupils from the Senior School joined representatives from construction company SDC for an official topping-out ceremony at the highest point of the School’s new Science and Maths building today.

    The age-old tradition, originally conceived to bestow good luck on a building and ward off evil spirits is now more commonly recognised as an opportunity to thank the workforce and celebrate progress made.

    The £10.6 million development, which is due to open in September, has some 2700 square metres of floor space and will include 12 science laboratories. There will also be five Maths classrooms which will link to three further Maths classrooms on the first floor of the existing Queen Katharine Building (QKB). It will additionally house a Digital Learning classroom, ICT server rooms, a greenhouse, technician areas, a conference room, staff room and break out spaces.

    The building, known as Queen Katharine Building 2 (QKB2), will provide the school with some outstanding facilities in which to teach the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Much time and thought has been put into its design to ensure that each subject has a bespoke teaching space best suited to its needs.

    Director of Science Mr Alastair Gray said: “The spacious, fully equipped laboratories will provide pupils with all that they need to engage in exciting and stimulating practical work, thus equipping future generations with the skills they need to become experts in their chosen fields.

    “This building is a clear statement that Kimbolton School recognises the importance of STEM subjects and is committed to providing its pupils with the opportunities to excel in these fields. I hope that this building will also attract attention from the wider scientific community as a suitable hub that can be used to help promote the importance and enjoyment of Science beyond the classroom.”

    Lower Sixth Form student Michael Oakley, 16, from Eynesbury, is looking forward to getting inside the new laboratories and classrooms. He said: “Whether it's something as simple as having ceiling hooks to hang Searle's Apparatus from in physics, or more availability of fume cupboards for chemistry, having a modern building devoted almost entirely to maths and science subjects is a very exciting prospect.”

    Georgina Roberts, also 16 and from Brampton, recently joined Kimbolton’s Sixth Form. She added: “I joined the School because I specifically wanted excellent science teaching and facilities. I’m thrilled to be one of the first group of students to benefit from the new building and I’m sure it will help me to further my scientific career at Kimbolton and beyond.”

    The Bursar, Mr Edward Valletta, emphasized that the large-scale project was fully on schedule. This success was due, he said, to the School’s close cooperation with the SDC construction workers who had been on site for the last year, and with Kimbolton village. Since construction of the building shell began last summer, 183 tons of reinforcing steel have been anchored and 190 lorry loads of concrete have been poured.

    Work to convert the School’s existing science facilities into new Food and Nutrition, and Geography classrooms will commence at the end of the summer term. September’s newcomers will be among the first to use not only the QKB2 but also the new facilities in these departments.