WORK to construct a zen garden outside the main restaurant in UCD is expected to be completed during March, despite initial plans that it would be finished by early February at the latest. The project is now scheduled to be completed by the 15th March, and will cost between €3,000 and €4,000 according to Assistant Buildings Officer, Lorcan Sweetman.
Mr Sweetman explained that the project is taking longer than initially planned due to the “complexity” of the work and the “intricate details” of the design, leading to it being a “particularly slow piece of work.”
“It’s quite a complex piece of work so the complexity has just meant that it’s taking slightly longer than we had planned,” said Mr Sweetman. “It’s nothing outside of that other than it’s just a particularly slow piece of work given the complexity.”
Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá, said he thought it would have been better for the garden to have been finished over the Christmas break so as not to have construction work underway during term time.
“I think the reason it’s taking longer than expected is because they’re moving the entrance [of the Zen garden] to the Norah Green Room,” said Mr Ó Deá. “If you’re familiar with the entrance to the restaurant where there’s a grey structure [in front of the building], no one really knows what it is but it’s actually a staircase down into that room. They’re probably going to knock that all together and they’re allowing for that now down an entrance beside the Zen garden.”
Mr Ó Deá commented that the new construction wouldn’t cost anything extra to implement saying that “it just putting an extra door in and knocking the other bit.”
Although having a Zen garden was not one of the SU’s main priorities, Mr Ó Deá admitted that its completion could “add to the aesthetics of UCD which are often criticised and would brighten up or give UCD a bit more character… that’s why it was specifically funded for that.”
The project, which is being funded by a private donor, will include a viewing platform, a refurbishment of the Rendezvous student seating area and external landscaping. It is hoped that the garden will be used by students for meditation and relaxation.