Cash-hit school’s fight to fill £5m science hub

The Royal Latin's Discovery Centre
The Royal Latin's Discovery Centre

The cash-strapped Royal Latin School is facing a fight to complete its £5million science block – and parents might need to put their hands in their pockets to help out.

The Discovery Centre’s exterior is almost complete but the school is battling to find £85,000 to kit out the empty shell with laboratories.

More than £3,000 was raised at the school’s annual duck race (see page six) but the fundraising board is scrambling to organise more events before the scheduled completion date of July 1.

Board member Hilary Baxter said: “We hope that it can be finished in time but hope doesn’t really do it. We need to keep on working.

“It looks good from the outside but the real point of it is to get this last bit of 
money for the labs.”

If completed in time, the science hub will be a 12-lab and technology facility for pupils from September.

The school says local 
businesses and universities will also benefit from using the complex, which will be powered by environmentally-friendly energy.

But as only phase one of a three-stage project to build an arts block and sixth form centre on the school site, there are concerns about where more funds can be drawn from.

As a parent of a sixth former, Mrs Baxter knows the school is in need of funds across the board.

She was at the crisis meeting called by headmaster 
David Hudson two weeks ago and said one idea shared was to set up a ‘parent 
contribution fund’.

She said: “There was a lot of sympathy and positivity among parents to what we can do.

“One idea is to have a fund for parents to put voluntary donations into.

“Or cut lessons from nine to eight in the sixth form.

“Obviously it’s not a good thing but you can argue that it prepares them better for university life.”