Wednesday 27 March 2019

Work to begin at DkIT after €18.5m award

Facilities at DkIT are to get a major investment
Facilities at DkIT are to get a major investment

Olivia Ryan

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) is in the process of procuring a design team for a major refurbishment of its North and South Block buildings., the Argus has learned.

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh confirmed in a DaiI debate last week that plans for the extensive works are currently underway

'It is anticipated that work will commence on site in the first half of 2020,' said the Minister.

'Approximately €18.5m has been allocated by the Department for this project, which will be undertaken in phases over a number of years.'

He added that it was expected that 'only a limited portion of overall project costs will be drawn down by DkIT in 2019.'

The substantial grant was awarded in September last year, with DkIT confirming that it will support the renovation and upgrade of the North and South Blocks, and would ultimately have a significant impact for Science, Technology and Engineering facilities at the Institute.

A spokesman for DkIT said: 'The capital funding will propel the Institute's STEM provision with the expansion of available science and engineering laboratory space, the creation of an additional 760 places across industry-focused disciplines, as well as the enhancement of existing Business & Humanities facilities.'

The investment also formed part of a wider announcement by the Taoiseach which unveiled a major financial package in education under Project Ireland 2040, the government's €116 billion investment and development plan for the next decade.

DkIT was one of four Institutes of Technology (IOT) highlighted within the plan and received the largest capital funding figure of any other IOT nationwide.

DkIT President, Michael Mulvey PhD welcomed what he described as 'this timely and important capital investment in DkIT which will allow us to transform existing facilities into a state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) centre of excellence on campus. The new facility will benefit learners from undergraduate to PhD level, with proposed new laboratory facilities in food technology, chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, biotechnology, agriculture and all engineering disciplines.'

The Argus