A STRIKING multi-million pound science centre has opened for lessons at a Didcot secondary school.

Pupils at St Birinus School are now firing up their Bunsen burners in their £4.5m science block.

The new building is one of the tallest in the area and is designed to reflect the importance of science teaching in the school.

It is the biggest investment the Mereland Road boys’ school has ever seen.

Headteacher Chris Bryan said: “The school’s status as a specialist technology college means we have an obligation to put science at the forefront of our teaching.

“We hope the new facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories will encourage even greater numbers of our students to study science at A-level and beyond.”

The three-storey building has 13 new laboratories and replaces outdated science facilities and temporary classrooms.

A lift provides access to all floors, disabled toilets and special height adjustable furniture for pupils with special needs.

A ground source heat pump will provide energy.

Funded by Oxfordshire County Council, it has been built on the site of the former Greenmere Primary School.