Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today (21 December) welcomed the conclusion and signing of the contracts for the construction of six new buildings across multiple campuses in the eastern, southern and midlands regions. As part of the announcement, a new 65,000sq.ft. STEM Building will be constructed on the TUS Athlone Campus with the capacity for up to 1,000 students. The cutting-edge Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) building will feature an entrance plaza, tiered seating, cutting-edge science labs and equipment, lecture theatres and classrooms.
The development of the STEM Building at TUS Athlone is a significant and hugely positive development, enabling the University to meet increased industry demand for STEM programmes and graduates – especially in high growth areas like pharma, biopharma and microbiology.
The Athlone development is part of a project being delivered by Public Private Partnership (PPP), which will cost approximately €250 million ex VAT.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said:
“This is a really important development in higher education. The construction of these buildings on multiple campuses across the country will improve the educational experience for current and future generations of students. It also represents an important milestone in the government’s Higher Education PPP programme and illustrates a commitment to investment in the higher education sector. We look forward to the construction progression of each of these six buildings over the coming years and look forward to welcoming the first students to the new buildings. The future is bright.”
When all six buildings are completed, they will comprise circa 38,060 of additional building space at the campuses and will cater for 5,147 additional student places. In addition, the provision of these buildings will free up space in existing buildings and allow for new student places.
The buildings will have a strong focus on supporting practice-based learning, including laboratories, workshops and studios. They will also have significant flexibility to adapt to changing teaching and learning needs, and to support hybrid and remote learning.
This project is being delivered under Project Ireland 2040 which recognises that investment in education is central to achieving a strong, future-proofed economy, balanced across the regions, and a just society in which all citizens are enabled to fulfil their potential.