University of Limerick President Professor Kerstin Mey has announced the start of works on the University of Limerick City Centre campus this Monday.
Professor Mey said she was “delighted” that works have started on the city centre site.
The works will be centred on preparing a portion of the internal space on the first floor of the building to create a new space for the UL FabLab, the +CityxChange project, an innovation lab and community engagement lab.
“These are collaborative projects between UL and the Limerick City and County Council which will benefit greatly from this new city centre location. The works will also include the development of community exhibition and meeting spaces,” said Professor Mey.
As part of the internal works to be carried out during this initial phase, a new access lift and ramp will also be built at the Sarsfield Street entrance, new doors will be installed and the first floor area will be fully refurbished.
A contractor has been appointed following a full tendering process and this phase of the project will cost €650,000. Existing funding of €750,000 received from the Urban Regional Development Fund (URDF) will be used to fund this phase of work based on the proposed establishment of an Inner City Digital Hub.
This is only the very beginning of the development of the University of Limerick City Centre Campus using just a small section of the existing building.
“Working with our partners in the region we have great ambition for all that this campus will become in the future,” said Professor Mey.
“The University is deeply committed to Limerick and the city centre campus will reflect both the academic excellence we are known for as well as being a vital extension of our beautiful campus in the heart of the city. The site is large, but our ambition for it is even greater.
“This is truly the start of a significant new chapter in the University’s history and one that we are very excited about. It will be wonderful to see it start to take shape,” she added.
It is hoped that these initial works in the first phase will be completed by October 2021 and that spaces will be provided for the following:
- UL community engagement
- Fab Lab Laboratory Space
- Fab Lab Machine Space
- +CityxChange Citizen Observatory
- +CityxChange Innovation Laboratory
- Toilets, data hub room, coffee dock
Fab Lab Limerick started in 2012 as an elective course at the School of Architecture, UL in which open source 3D printers, CNC routers and laser cutters were built.
Since then, Fab Lab Limerick has evolved into a fully functional digital fabrication laboratory that offers cultural, educational and research programmes on digital fabrication, bridging the gap between these technologies and creatives from all disciplines.
+CityxChange (Positive City ExChange) is a smart city project that has been granted funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme in the call for ‘Smart cities and communities.’ Limerick is one of two ‘Lighthouse Cities’ for the project.