The UCD Sutherland School of Law, which is currently under construction, was saved from a cut in Government financing. Though a scale-back in exchequer funding was announced in November and a number of other UCD projects have been put on hold as a result, the Sutherland School building is proceeding as expected.
A UCD spokesperson said that State’s committment to the project remained in place “because the Law School contract and fundraising campaign were at such an advanced stage.” The pre-Christmas announcement had been a disappointment for the University and would have been a large setback for the Law School development.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) pledged part of a €90 million investment in UCD to the School soon after the feared cut from the Government and when ground was broken on the site. Back in April, UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady remarked that the agreement with the EIB would be extremely advantageous for UCD in strengthening its position in the European university rankings.
At the time, EIB Vice-President for Ireland, Plutarchos Sakellaris, stated that the reason behind the EIB providing the funding was that “the European Investment Bank is committed to ensuring that world class education and research facilities can help future generations contribute to the European knowledge economy”.
The University has championed the building of the newest faculty building which will see Law students converge on a single space adjacent to the Quinn School of Business and will bring them closer to the heart of campus. This is in line with the University’s hope “to make the campus more compact, concentrating related activities, and separating academic and leisure functions.” The proximity to the main campus will be of great benefit to those students who study Law with another subject such as Business or History and will bring all students together under one roof, for all legal classes, for the first time.
Dean of Law, Professor Colin Scott is confident that his faculty will be “fully operational in the new building by September 2013” but says that “as with all building projects there remain potential causes of delay.” The building is scheduled for completion in mid-2013.
UCD alumnus Peter Sutherland donated a part of the funding required for the project, which is expected to stand at 5,100 square metres and house both undergraduate as well as postgraduate UCD Law students. The building will include a clinical legal education centre, lecture and tutorial rooms, PhD spaces, and a boardroom, as well as social spaces.