Plans for Grangegorman campus accelerate
- DIT welcomes government support for city centre campus development
- Project delivers consolidation of higher education; employment; and urban regeneration
17th July 2012: Plans for the consolidation of DIT at Grangegorman gathered momentum today, following the Government announcement that funding will be made available for significant work to commence this summer as part of the economic stimulus package. By September 2014, over 1400 DIT students and staff will be located on the new city centre campus, and a total of 10,000 relocated by 2017.
Welcoming the announcement the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said he was delighted that real progress can now take place. “Today’s exciting announcement means we can move quickly to make this project a reality. There have been a number of false starts and disappointments before now, but that has meant that an intensive level of detailed planning has taken place and as a result we are absolutely ready to break ground today. Within two years we will have created the nucleus of the new campus with art, design, social science and the environmental health research institute leading the way. Over the following four years we will bring together all of our sciences and health provision as well as media and law, tourism and culinary arts. A significant part of our engineering provision will also move, bringing it closer to other engineering and built environment programmes that will continue to be based in Bolton Street.”
Dr. Paul Horan, Head of Campus Planning for DIT, said that within a matter of weeks work will start on listed buildings on the site. “We will be starting work on the refurbishment of some of the Victorian buildings on the site, bringing them into educational use and enabling us to vacate some buildings that are no longer fit for purpose. As well as consolidating significant DIT activities on one site, this initial work will create valuable employment as refurbishment is labour-intensive and requires skilled craftspeople. It is also very exciting to see regeneration on this historic site which will breathe new life into the surrounding neighbourhoods.”
In addition to providing core educational facilities for students of Art, Design and Social Sciences, the initial development will also include library, cafeteria, student support and recreation space. The sports grounds will be further enhanced, and will continue to be available to local schools and clubs, as well as to DIT sports clubs.
The recent decision of An Bord Pleanála to give approval for Strategic Designation Zone (SDZ) for the Grangegorman project has meant that the development is not only ‘shovel ready’ but also is not at risk from changes to the award-winning strategic plan. Overall, the project will deliver significant employment over the lifetime of construction and occupation, and will contribute greatly to encouraging businesses to open in the area. It also opens up a public resource that has been closed off for two hundred years. As the only ‘green lung’ in the north inner city, the redeveloped site will be an invaluable amenity for local people as well as for students and staff of DIT and the HSE.
Mr. Michael Hand, Chief Executive of the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) said “The project is already well underway with a new replacement Mental Health Facility due for completion on site by the end of this year. As well as new build, however, we also have a responsibility to preserve and enhance the historic buildings. The best way to do this is to use them, so we are beginning that work now.” According to Hand, the next ‘new build’ on the campus will commence in 2013. “We have already appointed a design team to move ahead with the first new DIT building which will be for the Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI). Work will start on that next year”, he said. EHSI is the PRTLI-funded Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI) which is a collaborative venture between DIT, HSE, Dublin City Council, and University of Ulster, and a number of supporting institutional partners.
Work will also commence imminently on developing the infrastructure to support the future development of the complete site which will eventually accommodate over 20,000 students and staff.