Work stops at University of Limerick medical school

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

CONSTRUCTION work has halted at the site of the €16m medical school at the University of Limerick, with fears that it may not open as planned this coming September.

CONSTRUCTION work has halted at the site of the €16m medical school at the University of Limerick, with fears that it may not open as planned this coming September.

Work on site had been slowing down since Christmas, and came to a complete standstill a fortnight ago.

It remains unclear when the outstanding works will resume, but the university is in discussions with the main contractor.

The project is estimated to cost in the region of €16 million, however it’s understood that the university hasn’t lost out financially as the contract was for payment on a phased basis.

Medical students had been expecting to move into their new purpose-built school after the summer break.

Professor Paul Finucane, head of UL’s graduate entry medical school, said there is “huge concern” the works won’t be completed on time.

“We were hopeful we’d be in the building in time for the new academic year, but that’s very much in jeopardy at this stage,” said Prof Finucane.

“There’s no question that the building will be built at some stage,” he said.

It is understood there are several months’ work left to be completed on site, even though the building has been constructed to roof level.

The students have been located in temporary accommodation on campus for a number of years.

Cavan based company P Elliott and Company is the main contractor to the site. However, a spokesperson for the company was unavailable to comment at the time of going to print. It is one of the largest construction and property development companies in the country, and has been in existence for nearly 70 years.

The 4,295m² development, which is located next to the existing Health Sciences building, includes a lecture theatre, two seminar rooms, a clinical skills room, anatomical skills room and 28 student accommodation apartments.

Along with existing specialist buildings, this area on campus is primed to become university’s “health education village”.

The first cohort of 32 medical students will graduate on June 14, after completing their final exams in May.