The Waterford development is the largest of eleven new building projects at ITs under the Department of Education and Skills’ latest Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme.
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) President Prof Willie Donnelly has welcomed the announcement today of a new 12,800 m2 Engineering, Computing and General Teaching building on the Institute’s Cork Road Campus which will provide students access to state of the art infrastructure and a modern student environment.
The new building will include workshops, laboratories, classrooms, lecture theatres, research space, tutorial rooms, training rooms and administration offices.
Speaking after the announcement today WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly said that “the facilities will be integral to the transformation of education in the South East, positioning WIT at the forefront of defining the Technological University of the South East”.
The scale of the new building will also facilitate the relocation of the existing WIT Humanities departments and other activities from College Street to the Cork Road campus.
“The facilities available will prepare graduates for a future which sees the convergence of STEM and creative and liberal arts and will enable the institute to realise its philosophy of creating an integrated creative, entrepreneurial and connected learning environment which allows greater interaction between undergraduate, postgraduate and industry to deliver a unique learning experience to our students,” he added. “It will also act as a 'shared space' which will see industry and students working side by side in the same environment and encourage the delivery of new flexible modes of learning based on face to face, online and blended learning environment.”
As part of an integrated plan, the College street campus will transfer to Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB), allowing it to be used by the Waterford College of Further Education and other education providers. The timelines and phasing of this process have yet to be finalised and the Institute is working with the WWETB and the Department to ensure the smoothest possible transition for existing students and staff.
Welcoming the progress, Minister Bruton said: “We want to have the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. State of the art facilities in our higher education institutions is key to reaching our goal. These 11 projects across 11 Institutes of Technology will significantly boost the capacity of the sector to meet national and regional skills needs and to cater for the growing numbers of students entering the higher education system. Today’s announcement confirming both the scope of the projects and the teams of architects and engineers who will bring the projects through the planning process represents a significant programme milestone.”
Minister Mitchell O’Connor commented: “I am delighted to see the final scope and ambition of these projects. Capital investment is essential to enhancing the capacity and quality of the higher education system, and to delivering on the vision for future Technological Universities. Eight of the eleven projects in the programme are in Institutes of Technology that are currently part of TU consortia. I would like to congratulate the design teams on their appointments and look forward to seeing the first planning applications for these projects being submitted to the relevant local authorities before the end of this year.”