UCD has secured €350m from the European Investment Bank for major capital investment in the campus. The investment will facilitate a 25% addition to the student population, and a 50% addition in faculty, over the next ten years.
The investment comes as part of UCD’s “Strategy 2020-2024”, a five-year plan reportedly aimed at increasing faculty and student numbers, building world-class academic facilities and student amenities, and advancing services to support this growth.
The development comprises the following projects:
Centre for Creativity
This new centre is aimed at fostering the collision of ideas across subject areas, as well as engagement between the University and the community. It will relocate the School of Architecture and consolidate the School of Engineering to the centre of campus.
Centre for Future Learning
This high-tech 11,600 sqm building will place active learning at its core, incorporating formal, informal, group and individual spaces that students need to acquire and practice a wide range of skills. It will be available for all UCD colleges for lectures, tutorials and meeting rooms.
O’Brien Centre for Science
O’Brien is to receive an extension as part of phase 3 of the updating of science at UCD. It will aid the refurbishment of the Physics and Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Biology wings. This will bring the building up to 66,000 square metres.
Data in Science
This capstone project will be the engine of teaching and research spanning health, ICT, environment and human wellbeing.
Additionally, there will be a complete refurbishment of the Newman building, including the James Joyce Library. There will also be new and improved sporting facilities to promote health and well-being through sport participation.
Planning permission for the Centre for Creativity and the Centre for Future Learning has been granted and the initial work for the buildings has started.
The UCD campus development plan exceeds €1billion, and funding is sourced from the €350m EIB loan as well as philanthropy, increased student numbers, loans and Government grants. The loan has been approved by the University Governing Authority.
Deputy President of UCD Professor Mark Rogers told The Irish Times that the university cannot target more students until it increases its facilities:
“To ensure that we have the facilities in place to accommodate the targeted increases in student and employee numbers, we must provide additional academic as well as sport and student amenities spaces.”
Roisin Roberts Kuntz – Assistant News Editor