Plans progress for GMIT STEM building as Government proceeds with PPP programme
Building will cater for increasing numbers of students choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths-related courses
Date Article Written:
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
The President of GMIT, Dr Orla Flynn, welcomes the Government’s recent decision to proceed with the Higher Education (HE) Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme including GMIT’s new STEM building. The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, announced details of the revised PPP programme today (18 Aug 2020).
The new 5,500 sqm STEM building project has been developed by GMIT in association with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), under Project Ireland 2040. GMIT secured planning permission for the new building in January (2020).
The new academic building is strategically important to GMIT as the institute and its partners in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT) work together to transition to a Technological University for the West and North-West of Ireland. The new development will cater for the rapid growth in numbers of students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses in recent years. The building will be equipped with the latest technology to allow for innovative and flexible new approaches to teaching and learning to enhance students’ learning experiences.
Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says “I very much welcome the Government’s announcement this week in relation to the PPP projects. GMIT is a significant provider of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates for the Western region and beyond. The improvement of our buildings and facilities has been flagged as a key enabler in our Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023, and the planned new STEM building will be a major step towards GMIT realising its potential in these critical disciplines. As we move forward to achieve our ambitions of becoming a Technological University along with partners IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT, our staff, students and researchers will need world-class facilities. This facility is long overdue, and it is just one of a number of projects in our masterplan.”
The new GMIT STEM building will be located on the eastern side of the Dublin Road (Galway) campus. It will comprise three storeys with recessed fourth floor and a link to the existing building at ground floor level with two bridges linking at first floor level. It will accommodate classrooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, research labs, seminar rooms, lecture theatres and social spaces.
The design team for the new GMIT STEM building is led by west of Ireland based Taylor McCarney Architects.
Dr Des Foley, Head of the School of Science & Computing, says: "This announcement is a huge boost for everybody. It will provide our students with the opportunity to study in new state-of-the art facilities. The building will vastly increase the quality of our laboratory and general teaching space for science, computing and engineering, and it has been designed to ensure we maintain our ethos of strongly practical and applied programmes."
Galway-Mayo IT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT working together to become a TU for the West and North-West of Ireland
The proposed new STEM building at the Galway campus. [Photo: GMIT Buildings & Estates]