DIT to centralise its campuses at €500m Dublin 7 site

14 May 2012

DIT has 39 colleges as part of its Dublin City campus. Logo by DIT

An Bord Pleanála has today approved Dublin Institute of Technology’s €500m plan to centralise all 39 of its existing colleges on one site as part of the new 73-acre Grangegorman urban quarter in Dublin 7.

The plan to centralise the DIT site on one campus has been in the works for the past 10 years. More than 20,000 DIT students and staff will be relocating to the centralised DIT campus.

The Grangegorman site, located on the grounds of St Brendan’s psychiatric hospital, will also house a healthcare centre and a primary school, a public library, plus sport, recreation and other public amenities. It is the first site to be approved as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) in Dublin City.

“This project will have a transformative effect on the city of Dublin, as well as contributing an employment stimulus to the construction industry in particular,” said Michael Hand, CEO of the Grangegorman Development Agency.

RTÉ reported today that the Grangegorman Development Agency will continue with the development through its own private funding. This is despite the Government having withdrawn its financial backing for the project.

DIT and Dublin City

“DIT is part of the fabric of Dublin City and we work closely with the communities around us. It is very important to us that our new campus will not only provide a leading-edge educational environment for DIT students, but that it also contributes to the development of the city and its economy,” said DIT’s president, Prof Brian Norton.

Hand said that, following the An Bord Pleanála decision, work could start on site almost immediately.

“The first tranche of work on site will include significant refurbishment of protected structures to bring them into educational use,” he said.

Hand said that because of the refurbishment process the nature of this work is more labour intensive than simply new buildings.

He said it would therefore spark a bigger employment dividend, estimated at 500 man years.

Work is currently taking place on the construction of new mental health facilities on the North Circular Road side of the site. This work is set to be finished by the end of this year.

The next scheduled ‘new build’ will be the Environmental Health Sciences Institute (EHSI), a DIT-led initiative in collaboration with Dublin City Council and the HSE.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic