HEA welcomes the signing of contracts for a project that will see construction commencing on six new buildings, across multiple higher education campuses, that will be delivered by Public Private Partnership (PPP).
By Maura O'Shea
Posted: 22 December, 2022
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has welcomed the signing of contracts for a project that will see construction commencing on six new buildings, across multiple higher education campuses, that will be delivered by Public Private Partnership (PPP). The construction cost of the six buildings is approximately €250 million ex VAT.
The buildings will be located in the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) Tallaght and Blanchardstown campuses, Munster Technological University (MTU) campuses in Cork and Tralee, the Athlone campus of Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) and in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dún Laoghaire.
The contract has been awarded to the Enbarr Partnership, comprising Macquarie Group Ltd (equity provider), JJ Rhatigan & Company (construction contractor) and Sodexo Ireland Limited (facilities management).
The project will be funded by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Nord/LB, Korea Development Bank and Norinchukin Bank.
The HEA, acting as the Sponsoring Agency, worked with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science as Approving Authority. The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), was responsible for the procurement of this PPP project on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
When all six buildings are completed, they will comprise approximately 38,060m2 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.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon 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. 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.”
Mr. Ciarán McCaffrey, Head of Capital Programmes in the HEA welcomed the announcement and added:
“We welcome today’s announcement of the signing of the contracts for the commencement of construction of six new buildings being delivered under the Higher Education Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme. These new buildings, to be constructed on multiple campuses across the country, will have a transformative impact on the respective Higher Education Institutions and will aid them in meeting the increased demand for education, while at the same time providing learners with access to high quality state-of-the-art facilities.”
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 fulfill their potential.
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.
The buildings being delivered are as follows:
TU Dublin: Tallaght Campus – Culinary Arts, Engineering and Teaching Building
A 5,210m2 culinary arts, engineering and teaching building is to be delivered for the Tallaght campus of TU Dublin. This will consist of laboratories, lecture theatres, classrooms, administration space, and ancillary space. In conjunction with decanted space elsewhere on campus, the new building will increase capacity of the TU Dublin at Tallaght by c. 1,200 students.
TU Dublin: Blanchardstown Campus – General Teaching Building
A 4,067m2 teaching building is to be delivered at the Blanchardstown campus of TU Dublin. This will consist of classrooms, learning resource space, administration space and ancillary space. Together with decanted space elsewhere on campus, the new building will increase capacity of the TU Dublin at Blanchardstown by c.600 students.
IADT: Dún Laoghaire – Digital Media Building
The facility proposed for delivery is a new 7,208m2 digital media building. This will consist of computer laboratories, design laboratories, classroom spaces, the main campus restaurant and ancillary space. Together with decanted space elsewhere on campus, the new building will increase capacity of IADT by c.590 students.
MTU: Cork Campus – Learning Resource Centre
A new 6,660m2 learning resource centre is planned for the MTU Cork campus. This will consist of classrooms, learning resource spaces, administration space and ancillary space. In conjunction with decanted space elsewhere on campus, the new building will increase capacity of MTU at Cork by c. 1,000 students.
MTU: Kerry Campus – Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Building
A new 8,913m2 STEM building is planned for the MTU Kerry campus, consisting of laboratories, agri-machinery workshops, classroom spaces and ancillary space. This will be built on the North Campus and represents an important step in the consolidation of the MTU Kerry campus on that site. The new STEM building will replace infrastructure on the South Campus that is no longer fit for purpose and will increase the capacity of MTU at Kerry by 440 students.
TUS: Athlone Campus –Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) building
A new 6,000m2 STEM building is to be delivered at the TUS Athlone campus. This will consist of science labs, administration space and ancillary space. Together with decanted space elsewhere on campus, the new building will increase the capacity of the TUS at Athlone by c. 1,317 students.
As with other PPP projects in the education sector, the contract type is design, build, finance and maintain. The Enbarr Partnership will construct the buildings using private finance and will then operate and maintain the buildings over a period of 25 years. Payment by the Department will be by way of monthly unitary charge over the 25-year operational period, commencing once construction has been completed.
Notes for Editors
A PPP is a contractual arrangement between the public and private sectors for the delivery of public infrastructure that would otherwise have been provided through traditional public sector procurement. In the case of this PPP project, the private partner will finance and construct the buildings, then operate and maintain them over 25 years. The private partner will be reimbursed by the State via monthly payments which will commence when the buildings are operational and continue for 25 years. At the end of the 25-year service period, the buildings will be handed back to the respective Higher Education Institutions in a pre-defined condition.