Major construction work starts this week on the new Grangegorman campus for Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

The building of its two main teaching blocks, under a public-private partnership (PPP), was delayed by a failed legal challenge from an under-bidder for the contract.

The go-ahead for the development was announced today and it is expected to be ready for half of DIT students by September 2020 – those in sciences and health, arts and tourism and electrical and electronic engineering.

The following September, the campus, in Dublin’s north inner city, will be ready for students from the business faculty, currently located in Aungier Street. No date has been set for the transfer of students on construction-related programmes, currently in Bolton Street.

And, by the time of the big move in 2020, DIT could be elevated to university status.

The green light for the two academic quads coincides with the passing of new legislation that will allow for the establishment of a new technological university in Dublin.

DIT is joining forces with IT Tallaght and IT Blanchardstown to create a Dublin technological university as part of rationalisation of the institute of technology sector.

The new campus, which will bring DIT on to a unified site for the first time, is served by two stops on the Luas Green Line, which will make for a seamless journey to college for increasing numbers of students.

One stop is Grangegorman and the other is Broadstone, which will be the main entrance to the campus.

The contract for the new development is worth €220m, up from the €180m-€200m quoted for the original deal.

DIT president Professor Brian Norton said the development of the Grangegorman campus had the power to add new life and opportunity – culturally and economically – in the heart of Dublin City.

“Education Minister Richard Bruton said the project was  being funded by the government under Project Ireland 2040,” he said.

The contract was awarded to the Eriugena consortium, (led by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd, and Irish construction firm John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd, FCC Construction Ireland Ltd and Sodexo Ireland Ltd).

Eriugena is responsible for designing, building and financing the construction of the buildings, and will also provide facilities management and  services over 25 years.

The State will pay the consortium via monthly fees, starting when the buildings are operational. The construction cost of the two buildings represents the largest PPP project in the education sector.

Irish Independent.