Ministers turn sod on €220m building project in DIT Grangegorman

30th April, 2018

Ministers Bruton, Donohoe and Mitchell O’Connor announce construction is to begin on €220m building project for DIT at Grangegorman

 10,000 students and 600 staff to be accommodated on 52,000m2 development


The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today turned the sod on the new 52,000m2 building project for DIT on the Grangegorman campus.


This Government is committed to making Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe by 2026. State of the art higher education facilities are important to delivering on this ambition. The Grangegorman development represents one of the most significant investments in infrastructure for higher education in the history of the state.


The development will span 52,000m2, creating at least 1,000 jobs in the construction industry over the lifetime of the project. The investment will see a new Central Quad and East Quad being built. The Central Quad will accommodate academic activities and facilities required for a total of ten schools from the College of Sciences & Health, College of Engineering & Built Environment and the College of Arts & Tourism. The East Quad will accommodate the majority of academic activities and facilities required for the College of Arts & Tourism which currently consists of six schools, four of which will be accommodated within the East Quad building.


The completion of these flagship buildings will mark a huge step forward in progressing the consolidation of DIT on the Grangegorman campus and will add to the changing landscape of the new Grangegorman urban quarter, which already includes the Phoenix Care Centre, the Grangegorman Primary Care Centre (opened this year), the Greenway Hub, the new playing pitches, playground and walking/jogging track.


Minister Bruton said “We have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. Delivering high quality facilities for our higher education institutions is important to achieving our goal. With that in mind, I am delighted to be here today to turn the sod on these critical infrastructure projects.


“The project is being funded by the government under Project Ireland 2040. Under the Government’s plan, the higher education sector will see a very significant ramping up of investment in higher education infrastructure – from approximately €800m over the past decade to €2.2 billion over the coming decade. This underlines the government’s commitment to investing in higher education.”


The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said “It is great to see construction now starting on these projects. The facilities being delivered here at Grangegorman demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting excellence in higher education. The buildings will enhance the attractiveness of DIT and the future Technological University for Dublin to students nationally and internationally.  Ireland continues to attract international firms to our country for a number of reasons but the standard of our education and our talent is very much an underlying factor.”


The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, said “The start of construction on these important buildings represents another important milestone in the Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme. The Government has placed a firm emphasis on investing in the higher education sector. It is a top priority and this project is proof of that. Grangegorman is already flourishing under the careful stewardship of the Grangegorman Development Agency and following on from the arrival, some time ago, of the first students. I will be keenly following the progression of the build over the coming two years, the impact its development will have on the surrounding communities and look forward to welcoming the new students to the new campus in 2020.”


Ger Casey, Chief Executive Officer of the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) said “Breaking ground on the Central and East Quad project is hugely important for the GDA. Not only does it mean that we are a step closer to half of DIT moving to Grangegorman but it allows the agency to move forward with other aspects of the overall development. I would like to acknowledge the immense work done by all of our colleagues in the Department of Education and Skills, the National Development Finance Agency, the European Investment Bank, DIT and all of our stakeholders and project partners who have helped make this happen.”


Professor Norton of Dublin Institute of Technology, said “A huge amount of work by many people – with the support of Ministers Bruton, Donohoe and Mitchell O’Connor – has enabled us to reach today’s major milestone for DIT.  In two years’ time, over 10,000 students and 600 members of staff will be based on this fantastic city-centre campus, including musicians and artists, scientists and engineers, culinary artists and event managers.  They will have the opportunity to interact with one another, sharing ideas, playing sport, building communities.  The vision is for this campus to be integrated in Dublin’s historic city centre, culturally and economically, bringing new life and opportunity.  We are grateful to so many supporters and colleagues for coming today to mark the beginning of this exciting development.”


The contract for the provision of these buildings has been entered into with Eriugena consortium, which includes Macquarie Capital Group Ltd., Irish Construction Company John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd., FCC Construction (Ireland) Ltd. and Sodexo Ireland Ltd.   The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), which was responsible for the procurement of the project on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills, will also monitor the construction phase. 




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 construction cost of the buildings is approximately €220 million.  


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 –
    • DIT accounts for almost 10 % of the total higher education sector in Ireland.
    • all DIT activities, previously on 39 separate citywide locations, will be brought together at Grangegorman
    • First 1,000 DIT students arrived on campus in September 2014
    • First new DIT 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 Building opened in March 2013. The new primary care centre complete and some services have begun operating from there. The new residential care neighbourhood is entering design stage.
  • DIT: consolidation of all DIT 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, has Department of Education and Skills approval for development of permanent premises on campus. Grafton Architects have been appointed to design this new building.
  • 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.
  • Over 2,000 new student bed spaces will be delivered on campus.