Athlone Institute of Technology may get multimillion euro upgrade

Plans include student campus in creation of Technological University of the Shannon

Architect’s vision of Mark Cunningham’s plans for a 283-bed student campus, along with 127 residential houses and apartments at Lissywollen, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Architect’s vision of Mark Cunningham’s plans for a 283-bed student campus, along with 127 residential houses and apartments at Lissywollen, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

 

Athlone Institute of Technology is in line for a multimillion-euro upgrade as part of its elevation to university status.

Longford developer and former Athlone IT graduate Mark Cunningham has lodged plans to construct a large-scale student campus as part of a development that is expected to exceed €100 million.

The chartered engineer has applied to An Bord Pleanála through the State’s Strategic Housing Development (SHD) to construct a 283-bed student campus, along with 127 residential houses and apartments at Lissywollen, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

Merger with LIT

The development site, otherwise known as the Green Quarter, fronts onto the Old Rail Trail Cycleway where connectivity to the new Athlone Technological University (TU) and Athlone town centre for students and residents is proposed.

The ambitious plans come a little over two months after Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced the merger of AIT and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) into a new Technological University of the Shannon.

Mr Cunningham said the mooted development was in keeping with local policy guidelines to construct a “student quarter” while promoting Athlone as an “international student destination”.

Transformational project

The former AIT student spoke of his delight at being able to devise what promises to be one of the largest and most transformational projects for his former alma mater.

“As a past student of Athlone Regional Technical College (RTC), I’m delighted to have the opportunity to apply for permission to construct a purpose-built student campus which both reflects its new technological university status and also Athlone’s place as a regional growth centre in the National Planning Framework.”

A decision on the development is expected to be made by An Bord Pleanála later this year.