UCD Sport and Fitness is set to open this Monday, June 25, in the new Student Centre complex on campus. This follows the lowering of the time-capsule and the unveiling of the new sculpture, Joie de Vivre by Jill Pitko, in front of the centre, last Wednesday.
The long-awaited opening of the facility will see UCD students, alumni, and staff, as well as members of the public gain access to Ireland’s third fifty-metre Olympic-specification swimming pool, a sauna, jacuzzi, tepidarium and a shallow children’s pool, as well as a 150-piece gym, which occupies 850m2, more than twice the size of the gym space previously available.
The development, which began five years ago, cost over €50 million and includes student services as well as the sport and fitness facilities, though it is only the latter which will open on Monday. The complex includes a ninety-seat cinema, 125-seat theatre, tournament-grade debating chamber named after Garret FitzGerald, student offices and meeting rooms, and a radio pod. While the pool and the gym open this week, the rest of the extension won’t be opening until August this year.
Current UCD students will have free access to the gym, and will have the option to pay to use the swimming pool, with the rates set at €4 a swim or €100 a year for unlimited access. The public will pay €800 a year for membership, while UCD staff will pay €450 in membership fees for the year. The development was funded by student levies, and graduates who contributed to the levy as a student will be able to avail of discounted membership rates.
Student Centre manager and project co-ordinator Dominic O’Keeffe, speaking to the Irish Times said, “It’s a new age in leisure provision; the standards and spec are the highest in the country.” He is confident that UCD Sport and Fitness will attract sufficient membership numbers within UCD, and with the general public to ensure the complex is viable.
Further information on UCD’s new Student Centre, details of the facilities available and membership information can be found at www.ucd.ie/studentcentre.
All photographs by Daniel Lynch.