New €1m tunnel links Leinster House to office space
Leinster House is getting a new €1m tunnel to link it to more office space, but will save €700,000 a year in rent of facilities.
The building will also have €1.4m spent on conservation of the stonework and roof, which is currently in danger of collapsing.
Under plans approved last night, the Leinster House campus will be connected via an underground corridor to the Department of Agriculture headquarters down the street.
Agriculture House is being largely vacated by the department as the bulk of its staff are being decentralised to Portlaoise in Co Laois.
The Houses of the Oireachtas will take over this building on Kildare Street by building the tunnel. The tunnel will cost €1m over two years, but the cost will be covered within less than a year and a half.
The development will allow the Oireachtas to save €700,000 a year by giving up the leases on office space currently being rented in the area.
"Saving €700,000 a year is significant. It's a pretty good deal," a source said.
The work around the building will also make Leinster House disability compliant by the end of 2011. The conservation work on the building will also be conducted over two years.
The plan is contained in a report put together by the in-house accommodation committee, chaired by Fianna Fail TD Michael Mulcahy.
The body in charge of running Leinster House, the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, approved the works last night.