FUNDING has been secured for the 50 meter Olympic size swimming pool by the university. The pool will be located in the new student centre, which is due to be completed in December 2010.
Student Centre Manager, Dominic O’Keefe is confident that construction will begin in March 2009. He intends to confirm the contractor in November following a shortlist of candidates. Confirming that 25 applications were considered, Mr O’Keefe added that he has since “narrowed it down to the final eight builders”.
An information suite is to open to students and staff by the end of September near the current Student centre. Mr O’Keefe explained that he felt it was important that students can access construction plans for the complex as “there are 3000 new students coming into UCD this year, who have paid the levee but haven’t got a clue about the centre”.
Students will be able to view models and drawings of the new building, while staff will be present to answer questions that students may have. The suite will also house site meetings concerning the developments.
Interested students will also have the opportunity of viewing the construction developments online through a web camera, which will be situated above the construction site.
Mr O’Keefe doubts that student services in the Sports Centre and current Student Centre will be affected by the construction work, as he aims for most of the building work to be completed during the summer months. “Even as the work begins in March, it will be coming to the end of term time.”
UCD alumni who have paid the levy while attending UCD will be offered either three or six month memberships to the gym in the new centre, depending the number of years they paid the levy, which increased by €46.50 this year.
“The target audience for us are graduates of UCD who understand the college and the students. This means that they have an affiliation with the college again.” Mr O’Keefe is confident that UCD alumni will sign up for the facilities, as “the idea is that there will be something to interest everyone”.
The new Student Centre will host a cinema, debating chamber, theatre, media centre and society rooms. It will also house new cafes, a health centre and will be linked to the current student centre and sports centre.
The complex has not yet been officially named. Nominations are currently being accepted by the Student’s Union.
Vice-President for Students, Dr Martin Butler has applauded the decision to build a 50 metre pool, adding that the construction of a 25-meter pool as originally planned, would have been “a huge mistake that we would live to regret for years to come.”