UCD planning €87 million expansion of sports facilities

New development will allow UCD to move exams from RDS onto Belfield campus

UCD planning to spend €87 million to expand their sports facilities

University College Dublin (UCD) is planning an expansion of its sports facilities at an estimated cost of more than €87 million, which will also allow it to hold end-of-term exams on campus rather than in the RDS.

In a March 13th letter, the university applied to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for planning permission to expand the existing sports facilities at the Clonskeagh end of the South Dublin campus.

The planning application states UCD is seeking to build a three-storey multipurpose sports hall, beside its existing sports centre.

The new building will double as an examination centre, which will allow UCD to hold end-of-term exams on its campus, rather than in the RDS where they take place.


The development also plans to reconfigure existing sport pitches on the South Dublin campus, to provide two new Uefa-standard artificial football pitches, six new 5-a-side football pitches, and an artificial half-size hockey training pitch.

The project is also being funded by an annual €254 levy which students have paid for years

The estimated €87.5 million project will be partly funded by a €350 million loan facility made available to UCD through the European Investment Bank in 2021, said Dominic O’Keefe, the university’s director of student services.

The project is also being funded by an annual €254 levy which students have paid for years, to fund development of sports and other non-academic facilities.

The exact cost of the development will be subject to bids received by construction companies during a competitive tender process.

The development is separate from the university’s project to double the amount of student accommodation on campus, which was paused earlier this year due to rising construction costs.

In a planning report, UCD said the “major” expansion of its sport facilities “will enhance the experience of students and university staff”, as well as the public.

Speaking to the College Tribune student newspaper, a university spokeswoman said the estimated €87.5 million cost covers service fees, core building costs, equipment, as well as including a specific contingency for inflation in building costs.

The spokeswoman said the development would mean “there is potential and opportunity to accommodate exams on campus within the new suite of student facilities, in the medium to long term future, should the university wish to do so”.

UCD was also recently awarded €25 million in Government funding to be put towards the redevelopment of an old wing of its science building, with construction due to begin in the autumn.