Developers sought for €200 million DIT campus at Grangegorman

Dublin Institute of Technology is to move to central campus from 2017

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin announced the project last year as the part of the Government’s €2.25 billion infrastructure stimulus package

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin announced the project last year as the part of the Government’s €2.25 billion infrastructure stimulus package

 

The National Development Finance Agency is looking for a developer to build a €200 million campus at Grangegorman for the Dublin Institute of Technology.

More than a decade after plans for a centralised campus for the largest third-level institution in the State were first announced, the agency has given notice of its intention to begin a public-private partnership process and is asking developers to lodge expressions of interest.

The DIT currently is spread throughout the city centre on 39 separate sites. With 20,000 full- and part-time students, it accounts for close to 10 per cent of all students in higher education in Ireland.

The move to the 50-acre site on part of the former St Brendan’s Hospital grounds is happening in stages and is due to be completed by 2020.

The PPP contract will be for the design, building, finance and maintenance of two “quads” to accommodate 15 existing teaching schools of the institute.

The Central Quad, at about 34,000sq m of internal space, will accommodate about 6,400 students and 450 staff. It will house the schools of science, engineering, maths, computing, culinary arts and hospitality management and will have specialist areas including laboratories, professional kitchens, training restaurants, workshops, teaching space and staff offices.

Creative industries
The East Quad will be about half the size, with 16,000sq m of space for 3,100 students and 250 staff. It has been designated as the creative and cultural industries quad and will accommodate the schools of music, media, languages, social science and law, and art, design and printing.

The facilities will provide specialist areas such as performance spaces, media and computer rooms, musical practice and rehearsal rooms, art and design studios, workshops, teaching spaces, and staff offices.

The current plan is to have up to half of the 20,000 students on campus by 2017, when it is expected to be served by the new cross-city Luas line.

Interested developers will be invited to an information day on September 9th, but contracts are unlikely to be awarded until mid-2015.

Plans for the site were first put forward in the late 1990s. At the time it was thought much of the project could be funded by selling off DIT colleges but the downturn in property prices forced the institute to look to the exchequer for initial funding.

Severe setback
The DIT’s plans suffered a setback in November 2011 when it was one of the major projects, along with Metro North, to lose the commitment of Government funding.

However, Michael Hand, the chief executive of the Grangegorman Development Agency, said at the time the development would still go ahead.

The project got a boost in May last year when it received permission from An Bord Pleanála.

Two months later it was announced by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin as the “flagship” project of the Government’s €2.25 billion infrastructure stimulus package.