Project valued at approximately €180 million
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today launched the procurement by public private partnership of two new technologically-advanced education buildings – the Central and East quads - at DIT’s new education campus at Grangegorman. This project is valued at some €180 million.
DIT’s new campus will accommodate approximately 11,000 students and staff when completed and occupied in September 2017, consolidating up to 40 buildings into a single site. This will derive significant efficiencies for a key third-level institution, which constitutes some 10% of all third-level education places in Ireland.
The two new quads will serve as lynchpins for the new facility. The Central Quad will cater for Tourism, Food, Science and Engineering students, whilst the East Quad will cater for Applied Arts students. They will effectively replace the existing facilities at Kevin Street, Cathal Brugha Street, and several other smaller facilities.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Quinn said: “The progression of the PPP element of the Grangegorman Development project reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the needs of DIT and to investment in the education sector.
“This specific investment, which I announced as part of the Government's Economic Stimulus Package in July 2012, is also an opportunity to engage with the local community, to assist in rejuvenating a large part of the inner city and to create jobs. Indeed, the European Investment Bank has taken an interest in this project due to the significant social, educational, employment and personal development opportunities it offers to so many people.”
The Chief Executive of the Grangegorman Development Agency, Michael Hand, added: “With the new Phoenix Care Centre now fully operational, the demolition of several old buildings onsite progressing and a major site infrastructure and public realm contract about to start, Grangegorman is already a greatly developing site.
“We will have the first 1,000 DIT students onsite by September 2014 and further health and research facilities onsite by 2015. The Central and East quad projects being launched today by the Minister are very large pieces of the overall jigsaw as they alone will see over half of DIT arriving in Grangegorman in four years. That makes today a very significant milestone for the project.”
Through the Grangegorman project, the Government is investing approximately €300 million into the Irish economy over this period (up to September 2017). This investment will provide approximately 3,500 jobs during the construction phases of the projects.
The €180m figure is exclusive of VAT and inflation.
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
PPPs allow the burden of State investments be borne upfront initially by the private sector when the State is experiencing fiscal difficulties that are curtailing investment and leading to consequential impacts on economic activity. Utilising PPP opportunities allows the private sector to address these infrastructural needs, with the State sector paying for this investment over an extended period of time- usually 25 years.
Delivery of educational infrastructure through PPPs usually results in delivery costs, maintenance and operational costs all being borne upfront by the private sector. The public sector repays the private's sector investment in the form of annual unitary charges encompassing maintenance elements / operational elements and building element. In this way and particularly at a time when there are strains on the public purse, the costs to the public sector are distributed over a prolonged period whilst at the same time proactively addressing public needs and assisting economic activities.