We are delighted to have successfully completed three unique Science Laboratory furniture projects at Pipers Corner School, Lichfield Cathedral School and Derby High School.
Each of one these installations required bespoke designs in order to meet their individual requirements to create engaging learning environments and maximise the teaching space available.
Pipers Corner School
Pipers Corner School in Buckinghamshire opened their Octagonal Science Laboratory, situated in the South Wing courtyard, at the beginning of the academic year.
The board of Governors wanted a statement building to fit in with the school being recognised as a leader in STEM subjects. After exploring a number of ideas with their architect, the school settled on an octagonal shape building.
“We visited a number of schools where Witley Jones had completed projects to see their finished work first-hand. It was important for us to get a feel of how schools work with Witley Jones, especially the provision and process of the contract.” commented Bob Pearce, Bursar, Pipers Corner School.
“There is attention to detail and then there is Witley Jones’ attention to detail.”
“I had positive engagement from Matt Jones right from the outset of the project through to the fit out of the furniture.
“Detailed drawings and explanations were provided at meetings with the main contractors, other parties and ourselves to keep everyone up-to-date with the progress.”
Bob went onto to say how he was “struck” by how it seemed to be that Pipers Corner School were our only priority and the only project we were working on.
“I felt that being a family business, the whole team care about the quality of service and product they provide and are invested in each project.”
Matt Jones, Director, Witley Jones Furniture, went on to say,“This is the first time we have been asked to fit out a science laboratory in an Octagonal room which created a challenge in itself. With good planning alongside the school, architect and contractor, we overcame all problems and are very proud of the results. Thank you to Bob Pearce and Pipers Corner School for allowing us to be a part of this exciting project.”
Lichfield Cathedral School
Lichfield Cathedral School is a coeducational independent day school in Staffordshire who are undergoing a period of expansion which led them to require an additional science laboratory.
Our team received the enquiry for the science laboratory furniture two weeks before the start of the Summer holiday, with the view to complete the project for the beginning of the new academic school year.
Dave Manser visited the school the following day to meet with David Brown, Bursar, and his colleagues to discuss their requirements.
Before starting the project, the school had looked through our portfolio of laboratory refurbishments and had spoken with our customers at Oswestry School and Bromsgrove School.
We needed to be innovative when it came to using the space available due to the make-up of the estate being within the historic Cathedral Close.
The room itself was very narrow so we manufactured tables to accommodate the width of the room. We needed to accommodate 24 pupils and give the teacher a large demonstration area and desk.
We used Trespa worktops throughout, which we recommend as standard in our laboratory installations due to their durability. Also, the school required 2 sinks with lockable storage underneath, as well as open storage units, double door cupboards and trays.
As is standard practice with our science laboratory furniture, we used lab-specific hardware including the taps, Vulcathene waste kits and bottle traps. Each sink, again as standard, is made from epoxy resin which withstands most chemicals.
We were able to manufacture and install the laboratory furniture within the summer holiday period. As with all laboratory installations, coordination with other trades and the customer is key to ensure services are in the correct position and the programme of works run smoothly
“The execution of the project was excellent, it was a positive experience without any fuss. Witley Jones have done a fantastic job given the tight timescale and specification.
There have only been positive comments from teachers and students using the room.” commented David Brown, Bursar, Lichfield Cathedral School.
Derby High School
During the summer months, we completed a biology laboratory project at Derby High School as part of an ongoing refurbishment programme following on from a physics laboratory we completed for them in 2016.
The project consisted of changing the layout of the furniture, moving the utilities and changing the dynamic of the teaching space.
They now teach the longer wall which helped to create the space to put up walls for the new office space.
We worked with the school to design and manufacture furniture for a dedicated office for teaching staff and lab technicians.
“The new lab design has really changed the experience of teaching biology. The room is designed perfectly for our needs, suiting theory and practical lessons equally well, and feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive!” commented Head of Science, Derby High School.
The fixed student benches were favoured from photos the school had seen of a similar project at Priors Field School which we completed in 2016 and 2017.
The cupboards beneath the desks allow for storage of apparatus on one side of the benching with seating space the other side facing the teaching wall.
All benches incorporated gas and electrics so that the majority of experiments could be carried out at the desks. Trespa worktops were used throughout for the student and perimeter benches.
The biology team were keen to have space to display experiments and work so we therefore designed and manufactured glass fronted display cabinets.
“Witley Jones were accommodating throughout the project, we gave them various different ideas which they took on board.
The people installing the lab over the summer were very pleasant and it all went pretty much to schedule. Witley Jones have also been very responsive to any issues we have had and the follow up to the job has been good.” commented Senior Lab Technician.
We also designed a bag storage unit for students to put their belongings in during lessons, so they are not a trip hazard around the laboratory.