The Academic Hub and Library is primarily a single integrated campus library, 12,600 square metres in size, that will accommodate TU Dublin's library collections for students based on the university's Grangegorman campus.
When completed in 2024, the building will become home to a range of student and staff supports, including the Career Development Centre, Civic Engagement, Maths Learning Centre, Disability Support Service, and People Development. This development, which incorporates the existing North House (a protected structure) into its design, will ensure TU Dublin's library requirements for the campus are all met on a collocated physical footprint.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said:
"Today is another milestone in the development of TU Dublin as we progress a new Academic Hub and Library on this ever-expanding campus.
“Over the past ten years, the Grangegorman development has transformed its neighbouring area, creating employment, education and improving access. The Academic Hub and Library is an important investment in the development of TU Dublin’s Grangegorman campus and I am delighted to be here to mark the beginning of the project."
President of TU Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick, added:
"Today we celebrate the commencement of construction of a milestone building on our Grangegorman campus that will offer a transformational educational experience for current and future generations of TU Dublin students.
“Upon completion in 2024, the Academic Hub and Library will provide some 12,500 square metres of new learning space across five floors, providing our students with a welcoming environment in which to undertake a range of academic activities.
“Most importantly, this new building will also see the establishment of the AIB Civic Engagement Outreach Centre, a dedicated teaching and learning space for community engagement programmes.
“These community programmes are designed to help students from groups currently underrepresented in higher education to build a relationship with the university during their secondary school life by participating in interactive activities and workshops."
With the West Quad expected to be next to start construction, Professor FitzPatrick said the university is looking forward to the next phase of the Grangegorman development:
"Scheduled to open in 2024, the West Quad will see over 5,000 of our students currently located in Aungier Street moving to this 20,000 square-metre quad, which will be home to a range of cutting-edge technology-enabled learning environments and specialised laboratories in many disciplines, including business innovation, and retail, and will include a financial laboratory and trading rooms."
The Government approved the provision of up to €12 million in Exchequer funding towards the Academic Hub and Library Project. On completion of the tender process, OHLA-Townlink Joint Venture Ltd was appointed as the main building contractor.
The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA), who is responsible for the development of the Grangegorman site, is playing a lead role in what has been recognised nationally as the ongoing successful redevelopment of the site into an emerging new health, education and community campus.
The need to continue the redevelopment process is acknowledged by its explicit inclusion as part of the National Strategic Outcomes of Project Ireland 2040, both within the current National Development Plan and the current National Planning Framework.
Speaking about the beginning of this significant project on-site, the Chief Executive of the GDA, Ger Casey, said:
“I am delighted to see the TU Dublin Academic Hub & Library get under way.
“The GDA is here to deliver the overall Grangegorman project and it is great to see what will become the academic heart of the site now breaking ground in this new landmark building for Dublin.
“It has taken some time to get here but the design team, ably led by O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, has created an impressive building that integrates the historic North House to provide an accessible and welcoming learning environment for this 21st century university.
“OHLA and Townlink bring a wealth of individual experience to the project. Combined, this exciting joint venture brings a considerable range of skills to deliver the project.
“The Academic Hub and Library is a special project for Grangegorman, not only for what it means for the university, but as a focal point for the site and the city. We look forward to working closely with everyone involved to make it happen.”