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DIT Grangegorman Campus Development Accelerates

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DIT Grangegorman Campus Development Accelerates

DIT Grangegorman Campus Development Accelerates
April 03
09:39 2018

The Government has announced that construction will begin immediately on the next extensive development on the DIT Grangegorman campus. The Eriugena consortium (led by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd, and Irish construction firm John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd, FCC Construction Ireland Ltd and Sodexo Ireland Ltd) are ready to commence work on the site. Over the next 24 months, the number of jobs created on-site will range between 500 and 1300 each month.

Welcoming the announcement, the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said DIT has been working towards this next stage of the Grangegorman development for quite some time. “The development of the Grangegorman campus has the power to add new life and opportunity – culturally and economically – in the heart of Dublin City. The commitment of colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills and the NDFA, combined with the support of Minister Paschal Donohoe and the European Investment Bank, have now enabled the plans for the campus to be realised and we look forward to working with the consortium to ensure the best possible result for DIT and for the city.”

Professor Norton said the development will lead to the consolidation of DIT in Grangegorman within the next four years and, building on existing links in the City, will play a significant role in the creation of Ireland’s first Technological University with partners IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght. Thanking colleagues in DIT and in the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA), he said: “We can now prepare in earnest for this next phase, with our students and colleagues in Sciences and Health, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Arts and Tourism getting ready to move to Grangegorman in time for September 2020.”

Welcoming the signing, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said: “This project is being funded by the government under Project Ireland 2040. Under the Government’s plan, the higher education sector will see a very significant ramping up of investment in higher education infrastructure – from approximately €800m over the past decade to €2.2 billion over the coming decade. This underlines the government’s commitment to investing in higher education.”

Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, said: “The realisation of this development on a previously under-utilised brownfield site in the heart of Dublin is very much aligned with the ambitions of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan to deliver a more compact urban growth. I would particularly like to acknowledge the collaboration of the project funders. This represents the latest in a series of major and very welcome investments by the EIB in the education sector in Ireland.  This includes close to €700 million in loans directly to the university sector across the last decade, as well as investments of nearly €500 million in school building programmes. The Grangegorman project will be the fourth PPP in the education sector to benefit from EIB support.”

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, underlined the significance of the announcement in the context of DIT’s plans to become a Technological University, together with IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown. “The Technological Universities Act, which has been a significant priority for this Government, was passed into law on 19 March. This is a major milestone and implementation of a significant commitment in the Programme for Government. It gives a renewed impetus and welcome certainty to the consortia planning to seek TU status. It will underpin the development of a new type of higher education institution. Technological Universities will have a transformational impact on the higher education sector. DIT, IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown have been working together over many years with a view to realising the vision of a new multi-campus Technological University for Dublin. Their plans are very well advanced and I understand the consortium aims to submit its application within a matter of weeks.”

Welcoming the signing of the Project Agreement, Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President, said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to provide circa EUR 110 million to support development of the DIT Grangegorman campus and its transformation into a centre of world-class education. Future generations of students will benefit from 21st-century innovation and education at one of the largest ever regeneration projects in Dublin. The EIB is pleased to build on our track record of supporting investment at higher education institutions across Ireland.”

Ger Casey, Chief Executive of the GDA, said: “I am delighted to see this important project get underway and it has come about through a lot of hard work from our colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), and DIT as well as huge support from the European Investment Bank. We are really looking forward to working with the contractors to ensure the buildings are complete and ready for DIT on schedule.”

Construction of two major academic buildings on the campus – the East and Central Quads – will be ready for the academic year in 2020.  The buildings will accommodate students in the DIT Colleges of Sciences and Health, Arts and Tourism and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  This will bring together over 50% of all current DIT activities on the new campus, including more than 10,000 students and 600 staff.

Development on Grangegorman Campus

Two major academic buildings – the East Quad and the Central Quad – will be constructed on the Grangegorman campus, integrating with the existing refurbished and repurposed 19th-century buildings and landscaping that was completed in 2014.

East Quad:

The East Quad will be a Cultural Hub not only for the Grangegorman campus but also for the city.  It will be accessed directly via the Broadstone Gate and the Broadstone DIT Luas stop, which will be one of the primary entry points to the campus.  It will be home to four Schools which are currently spread across DIT campuses in Aungier Street, Kevin Street, Rathmines and Grangegorman:

  • Dublin School of Creative Arts
  • School of Media
  • Conservatory of Music and Drama
  • School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences.

The Dublin School of Creative Arts was the first to move in its entirety to Grangegorman in 2014, along with Photography and Social Sciences.  They will transfer from their current locations in on the campus to the East Quad and will be joined by colleagues and students of Media and Law, Music and Drama and Languages.

The fluid nature of the design and the vibrancy of the learning environment will facilitate exhibitions of students’ visual artwork as well as dramatic and musical performances in the 400-seat Concert Hall, 80-seat Black Box Theatre and 80-seat Recital Hall, all of which will be completely accessible to general audiences.  The design of the external spaces and landscaping outside the building will also be conducive to a variety of uses such as performance, media projection and exhibition of sculpture.

The design will support the artistic practice of students and staff across all creative disciplines and will also encourage and harness inter-disciplinary synergies on campus with facilities available to all students in DIT.

Located beside the Broadstone DIT stop on the new Luas line, and just 16 minutes from St. Stephen’s Green, the campus is an exciting new addition to the cultural life of the capital.  A leading arts centre, with over 200 public events annually, will be transformative for the arts in higher education in Ireland.

Central Quad

The Central Quad is situated at the heart of the Grangegorman campus. The height of the building and its elevated site will allow for views over playing fields and the wider campus.

With a very large floor area of 35,000m2, the Central Quad will become the new home to the College of Sciences and Health, as well as the Schools of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, and of Hospitality Management and Tourism, representing the following disciplines:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Computing
  • Food Science and Environmental Health
  • Physics and Clinical & Optometric Sciences, including the National Optometry Centre
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Culinary Arts and Food Technology
  • Hospitality Management and Tourism

Highly specialised laboratories and learning centres will provide a world-class education environment, attracting the best and brightest students to DIT and position researchers at the forefront of scientific discovery. Locating the College of Sciences and Health, with its range of disciplines adjacent to the HSE Primary Care Centre and its Ophthalmology services, will create exciting synergies and opportunities for collaboration.

The building has been designed as a quadrangle with a central courtyard.  The entrance to the building at the Central atrium brings you to a double height space with a light slot that reaches the roof level. This bright and colourful space houses a café and a variety of breakout spaces.  An emphasis on facilitating informal learning will carry through all floors with substantial breakout areas on every level where students can gather in small groups to discuss project work and meet informally.

There is an emphasis throughout the building on openness and accessibility, putting learning ‘on show’ and allowing students and visitors to observe activities in laboratories and training areas. For example, a series of light wells throughout the building will provide a visual connection with the activities on the lower ground floor where the Culinary Arts Teaching spaces are located as well as Electrical Engineering Workshops.

Large lecture spaces, including a 250-seater main theatre, are clustered on the ground floor.  This will facilitate the hosting of conferences and public events.  Training restaurants and hospitality facilities are also located on the ground floor, directly fronting onto St Brendan’s Way so that students and visitors can enjoy the range of dining options.

Next Stages of DIT Campus development

Having secured Financial Close for the Central and East Quads, DIT in association with the GDA, Department of Education and Skills and Department of Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform will immediately move ahead with the next phase of delivering the DIT campus at Grangegorman which will include the relocation of the College of Business, adding a further 5,000 students.  This is scheduled for completion 2021/22.

This phase of development will also deliver:

  • Consolidation of library
  • Additional catering facilities,
  • Additional student facing facilities,
  • Additional sports and recreational facilities,
  • Energy Centre
  • Student accommodation – up to 1,000 spaces in phase 1.

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