Ministers Donohoe & McHugh mark huge milestone in largest ever investment in Higher Education Infrastructure

4th September, 2019

€220 million Quads on track for the arrival of 10,000 TU Dublin students in September 2020

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, today (Wednesday) marked an important moment in the Grangegorman project with the Topping Out of the Central Quad for Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin).

This milestone puts the Central Quad, and its sister building the East Quad, on track to be ready for the arrival of 10,000 students in Grangegorman in September 2020. It also reinforces the Government commitment to making Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe by 2026.

The buildings, which span 52,000m2 of development, are being delivered via Public Private Partnership. The will provide academic facilities for ten schools from the College of Sciences & Health, the College of Engineering & Built Environment and the College of Arts and & Tourism from TU Dublin.

Minister McHugh said: “These flagship buildings at TU Dublin are helping to bring the vision for Grangegorman to life. The investment is transforming this part of the north inner city.

“Soon we will see 10,000 TU Dublin students on this campus and while we are attracting the young talent we are also matching it with state of the art facilities.

“This level of investment will help TU Dublin to deliver on its ambitions at home and internationally.”

Minister Paschal Donohoe said: “The Grangegorman project will have a hugely positive impact not just for TUD but also on this part of the city. From the earliest days of the development and planning of Grangegorman, it was always part of a much wider ambition beyond purely higher education – that of creating a new urban quarter in the city.  Grangegorman will be a place for study, for primary education, for healthcare, for recreation – a place for living.  I am sure that the development will not only benefit the students in the TU but also the local residents, and that it will a make a huge contribution to the regeneration of the North Inner City.”

The Chair of the Grangegorman Development Agency, Oliver Cussen Said “This is a great milestone in the Grangegorman project. From the Agency’s point of view these two new quads being underway have brought this re-development project on in leaps and bounds. Once they went on site they opened the gates to allow us to move on the development of the new Academic Hub and the West Quad for TU Dublin. We will also have the new primary school going on site in January and further design work now happening on  the HSE Residential Care Neighbourhood. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project to date for helping to drive this vital public infrastructure project forward.”

Commenting on the opportunities that the campus will create, Professor David FitzPatrick, President of TU Dublin said, “To deliver on our mission and to do full justice to the ambitions of our students, it is vital to have facilities that support their learning.  Students who will study here from next September will benefit from working in laboratories, kitchens and lecture spaces with up-to-the-minute facilities and technology.  They will gain expertise that will ensure they can make a valuable contribution in key areas of the economy – in food science and innovation, pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals, health and environment, tourism and hospitality.”

Speaking on behalf of the main contractor delivering the project Sisk FCC, Donal McCarthy, Managing Director Ireland East, John Sisk & Son said “I am delighted to be here today on behalf of the Sisk FCC Joint venture leading the construction of the great new facilities at the East and Central Quads, as we hit this key milestone and formally top out the Central Quad. I want to recognise and thank our supply chain partners who are delivering top quality work across all aspects of this build. “I would like to thank MacQuarie Group, the Grangegorman Development Agency, TU Dublin, our design team partners and the National Development Finance Agency for their positive engagement and support with this important project.”

 Simon Carter, Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said “In reaching this milestone in the construction of the Central Quad, we can see our combined vision for Grangegorman Campus emerging. We can see a well-proportioned civic building based around an open and welcoming quadrangle.  It will be a focal teaching and social centre for the whole Campus and encourage movement, meeting and collaboration. We are delighted with the  high quality of the brick and precast stone facades, which bodes well for providing an exemplary finished building for TU Dublin. The building will provide state of the art specialist teaching spaces, which will be linked together by a variety of informal teaching, study spaces and informal social learning areas which will  facilitate a new teaching and learning model for interaction and engagement between students, staff and public.”


Notes for Editors

A PPP is a contractual arrangement between the public and private sectors for the delivery of public infrastructure that would otherwise have been provided through traditional public sector procurement.  In the case of this PPP project, the private partner will finance and construct the buildings, then operate and maintain them over 25 years.  The private partner will be reimbursed by the State via monthly unitary charge payments which will commence when the buildings are operational and continue for 25 years. 

The Grangegorman Project Delivers:

  • A central piece of national economic infrastructure – supporting knowledge society, research and development, intellectual capital creation, upskilling of the labour force and enterprise innovation.
  • One of the first major new mental health assets to come about as part of the Department of Health and Children’s multi-annual programme of capital investment consistent with ‘A Vision for Change’.
    • Phoenix Care Centre sets a new standard for care of mentally ill patients
  • A new urban quarter for Dublin city
    • Maintains this key city-centre site in public ownership
    • Contributes significantly to regeneration of Dublin’s north inner city, including Stoneybatter, Smithfield, Cabra and Phibsborough
    • Knits areas of the city together in a coherent way
    • Integrates with and supports transport initiatives including Luas Cross-City
    • Delivers vital primary care and other health services to the area.
  • Major consolidation of higher education sector –
    • all former DIT (now TU Dublin city Campus) activities, previously on 39 separate citywide locations, will be brought together at Grangegorman
    • First 1,000 TU Dublin students arrived on campus in September 2014
    • First new TU Dublin building, The Greenway Hub, completed in October 2015

Core Aspects of the Grangegorman Project:

  • HSE: Relocation of residents and staff of St. Brendan’s hospital from antiquated accommodation into a purpose built 54 bed facility on the site.  Building opened in March 2013. The new primary care centre open. The new residential care neighbourhood is in design stage.
  • TU Dublin: consolidation of all former DIT activities activities – 22,000 students and 2,000 staff – at a single location, including education  facilities, research, technology transfer, sports, cultural activities, science park and student accommodation 
  • Providing a major public recreational and amenity resource for the north inner city including health facilities, primary school, playgrounds and park, and access to sports facilities. The first playground opened in September 2015 and has been a huge success in the area.

 Project Milestones to Date

  • Strategic Development Zone planning designation for the entire site, ensuring no planning delays as each aspect of the development rolls out.  24 Planning permissions granted under the SDZ Planning Scheme.
  • The HSE Mental Health Replacement, the Phoenix Care Centre, completed and occupied in spring 2013.
  • Phoenix Care Centre won the RIAI 2013 award for Best Health Building.
  • Masterplan for the physical development of the whole site has won major international awards for urban development.
  • High level of engagement with all stakeholders in the project throughout the last 10 years.
  • Major Site Infrastructure and Public Realm (SIPR) Project covering the entire 73 acre site, phase 1 complete (Includes major underground site services, new parkland, playing pitches and a playground).  SIPR Project won the International Construction Project Management Association (ICPMA) 2015 award for Excellence in Construction Project Management.
  • Adaptation and refurbishment of 6 listed buildings now in occupation by 1,100 DIT students and staff since September 2014.
  • The campus development is being used as a learning project for many DIT students at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • The first new DIT building on site – the Greenway Hub – funded through PRTLI and Enterprise Ireland for the Environmental Health Sciences Institute and DIT Hothouse now complete and occupied.
  • Two Major Academic Buildings, the Central and East Quads to be constructed via PPP’s (Public Private Partnership) are the next stage of development for the new DIT campus at Grangegorman for completion in September 2020.  The Central Quad will incorporate ten DIT schools from the Colleges of Science, Health, Arts & Tourism, and Engineering. The East Quad will be a centre of excellence for Creative Arts; Media; the Conservatory of Music and Drama; and Social Sciences, Languages and Law.
  • 24 classroom primary school (onsite in temporary accommodations since September 2009) accommodating Dublin 7 Educate Together, is due to begin construction in the first quarter 2020.
  • The Academic Hub, which will mainly incorporate the new library for the quarter, is being designed by O’ Donnell + Tuomey.
  • Grangegorman Labour and Learning Forum established and co-ordinator appointed to implement the recommendations of the “Joining up the Dots” employment studies (2009, 2014). An Employment Charter has been agreed for all contracts on the site, committing contractors to a target of 20% of new hires from within the local area.
  • Major Public Art Programme now underway as part of the overall development. Already 12 community art projects have been commissioned and a major public art commission will be announced soon.
  • New replacement Bus Facilities for Dublin Bus is complete which enabled the Luas Cross City works at Broadstone to proceed.
  • Luas Cross City is now up and running.
  • Up to 2,000 new student bed spaces will be delivered on campus.