ABINGDON School pupils are so keen to get their new £15m science centre built they have been digging the foundations themselves.

Boys, parents, staff, governors and donors, with spades in hand, marked out the new centre’s foundations at a special ceremony.

The group dug a 5mx5m replica of the science centre’s floor plan on the site where the new building will stand.

Didier Delgorge, 12, from Oxford, said: “It’s really exciting to be part of this, I am really looking forward to having my first lesson in the new science centre.”

Liam McNinch, 13, from Kingston Bagpuize, said: “It’s really nice to see science being thought about.”

The Yang Science Centre, which will cost about £15m to build, is due to open in September next year.

New facilities will include 21 teaching laboratories for biology, chemistry and physics, study areas, project rooms, preparatory rooms and a greenhouse and pond.

The school has raised £1m towards the centre in donations, including from the Mercers’ Company and the Yang family, in whose honour the building is named.

Abingdon School headteacher Felicity Lusk said, following the ceremony last Thursday: “At last the journey to create our stunning new science centre really begins. Over the next few months it will take shape before our eyes.

“Not only are we laying the foundations today for a wonderful building, we are building for the future of science at Abingdon, for the community and beyond. Who knows what discoveries will have their beginnings here?”

She added: “We are very grateful to all those who have donated to the science centre appeal and we have the honour of recognising two generous benefactors: the Mercers’ Company, for their major grant to the project, as well as the Yang family, who have sponsored the building with a major gift and for whom the building will be named.”