Planned Private Staff ‘University Club’ and Restaurant “Number One” Priority for President Deeks

The planned University Club will provide fine dining and a formal bar reception for staff, alumni, and visiting guests, although students will not be given access.

Other priorities include a large scale re-development of the Newman Building and James Joyce library, and a new three story extension of the Quinn school of Business building between Quinn and Sutherland.

Michael Monaghan, UCD vice-President for campus development it is believed has outlined that university President Andrew Deeks’ “number one priority” for UCD is to build the University Club.

The University Club is a planned extension onto O’Reilly Hall, it is believed Deeks has prioritised the ‘Club’, (which will not be open to students) as a reception area for guests, visiting dignitaries, and a bar and lounge for UCD staff.

The University Club will take the place of the current staff bar/lounge in the first floor of the Newman building, documents obtained by the Tribune outline.

In an email to the local county council a representative from Scott Tallon Walker Architects outlined the project. The architect revealed the building is an extension of O’Reilly Hall to “accommodate the relocation of the existing UCD Club and staff lounge facility in the Newman building”. The pre-planning phase for the Club started in August 2016.

The university’s planning permission application for the extension outlines the building will include “social and dining facilities [and] meetings rooms”, and “designated visitor parking”. The Club will have a capacity of 250 guests. It will be accessible “to all faculty, staff, and alumni on campus” a UCD report describing the project goals of the Club details.

The Club will also be used for “high quality social and dining facilities, designed to cater for small and large scale University and corporate member events” documents outline. The Club will also have a restaurant area that offers “fine dining” to staff and guests.

President Deeks it is believed was concerned there was nowhere appropriate to bring guest speakers, visiting dignitaries, or distinguished alumni to eat on campus. 

Newman & James Joyce Redevelopment President Deeks’ “Second Priority”

Deeks has prioritised the construction of the University Club over plans to renovate the Newman building and James Joyce Library. The comprehensive redevelopment of both the Newman ‘Arts’ building and the James Joyce Library is believed to be President Deeks “second priority”.

The administration’s development priorities were outlined by VP for campus development Michael Monoghan at a recent meeting a source detailed.

 Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information act revealed UCD has put aside €3 million for immediate renovation works on several first floor departments in the Newman building. To date floors G,F and D have been refurbished.

The university’s overall plans for the Library and the Newman building include developing a a glass exterior in place of the current concrete finish.

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Image: Proposed glass-finish redevelopment of the James Joyce Library. 

Quinn Business Three-Story Extension 

President Deeks’ “third priority” for development is a large three-story extension of the Quinn School of Business planned to be constructed in between the existing Quinn School of Business and Sutherland School of Law.

The university have put in planning permission with Dun Laoghaire County Council for this three-story development, but as planning permission rolls over for a number of years it is unclear whether UCD will commit to start building the new business development before they begin works on the Newman building and James Joyce library.

RKD Architects were commissioned to draw up plans for the new building. The building would be connected to the Quinn School of Business by a walkway.

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Image: Proposed three-story extension of Quinn Business School  

 The funding for capital developments is believed to be tight, given the decline in state funding of third-level education institutions since 2008.

The university has been criticised for drawing up ambitious and aspirational development plans without following through and realising them.

But you can read more on that angle in the Tribune’s latest investigative lead piece in our first issue of Semester 2 , around campus on Tuesday.

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Jack Power  |  Editor 

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