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Posted 08 July 2009

Minister O’Keeffe gives go-ahead for redevelopment of UCD Science Centre

Work is expected to start next year on a major capital project to upgrade laboratory and teaching facilities for undergraduates and graduates at UCD following approval for the project by the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD.

Announcing the move to detailed design stage, Minister O’Keeffe said the project is a major cornerstone of the Government’s plan to build the ‘smart economy’.

“Today, I’m officially approving Exchequer funding for the development of Elements B and D of the UCD Science Centre.” The Minister said.

This investment will transform the teaching environment for over 2,000 undergraduate students and 525 postgraduates in science and engineering. It will involve refurbishment of 8,600 sq/m of existing outdated 1960s facilities and their integration with 10,000 sq/m of new facilities. The original science facilities were opened in 1964 to accommodate 325 students. At this stage they require considerable upgrading and expansion to meet modern standards for teaching and education. The proposed new dedicated teaching building (Element B) will enable the University to relocate undergraduate teaching activity from Science Centre South, Ardmore House and the Conway Institute.

The new facilities will support both training in fundamental disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry and biology and important programmes in more applied areas such as biopharmaceutical sciences, ICT and environmental sciences.

“The quality of the students graduating from these programmes will be an important determinant of the long term sustainability and competitiveness of Ireland’s ICT and biotechnology sectors.” The Minister added.

In 2007 UCD’s application for funding of Element A of the Science Centre for postgraduate training and research was funded (€17.5 million) through PRTLI. Element A of the Science Centre is almost complete so the next phase in the project is to move ahead with Elements B and D.

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