New STEM Building for Athlone IT
The Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD, has today announced details of several large-scale construction projects at Institutes of Technology around the country, including a new state of the art STEM building for Athlone IT.
The building projects will enable Institutes of Technology to accommodate an additional 8,000 students on courses geared towards science and technology.
The state will pay €200m towards the buildings, which will be operated and maintained by private developers for 25 years after their construction.
The Department of Education said the projects were selected following a detailed assessment, which took account of projected enrolments, capacity to deliver on skills requirements, and the potential of each project to contribute to regional development.
Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor said the ITs had been disproportionately affected by the fall-off in capital investment over the past decade. Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the announcement marked a turning point for state investment in the sector.
The projects will be procured by the National Development Finance Agency but it will be some time before they get underway. Tenders are expected to issue towards the end of next year. The Department hopes the first buildings will be ready for use in 2021.
The Department of Education said all proposals will be the subject of ongoing technical appraisal and economic analysis to ensure value for money. It said this process will inform the final scale and scope of each project.