PLANS for a city centre student village are expected to be part of the University of Limerick capital development plan 2014-18, which will be launched on Monday with the signing of a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank.
In total, the plan will see a huge investment of €224 million.UL revealed on July 26 that as well as financing new medical, pharmaceutical and engineering facilities, the funding will be spent on new buildings at its Plassey campus. It is understood that there are plans to double the size of the library. The plan also includes a new building at University Hospital Limerick and a much anticipated presence in the city centre, including an academic building yet to be confirmed.
Discussions with Limerick City and County Council have been ongoing about how UL’s plans could be incorporated within the masterplan being drawn up for the Opera Centre site acquired by the State after plans for a huge retail development collapsed.
It is understood that both Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College are interested in having a presence in the proposed student village, the location for which has yet to be agreed. Were all three colleges to become involved, it could house 1,000 students, bringing much needed life to the city centre.
Both UL and the local authority hope to improve the transport links between the campus and the city centre, four miles away.
The vice-president of the EIB, Jonathan Taylor, will join Minister Michael Noonan, UL president Don Barry and John Moran, the Limerickman who is secretary general of the Department of Finance at Monday’s announcement, when full details will be revealed.