The President of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, has just announced plans for the development of a city centre campus that will allow 500 students to be based full-time in the heart of Limerick city. The existing university campus is based 5k from Limerick city but with the addition of the extra campus, Professor Barry hopes to encourage greater interaction between UL students and the city.
The plans have been positively received by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who said it would create more life in the city and that it would be an important part of the Limerick 2030 plans to transform the city. No site for the new campus has been identified yet but Minister Noonan suggested that the empty Opera Centre site is a possibility.
Professor Barry said that the university is currently working closely with the local authority in Limerick to decide where the campus will fit in with relation to the other plans for Limerick 2030 and stressed that improvement of transport between the city and the existing campus will be an issue of high priority.
The plan for the university is set to include a residential facility in the city centre for 400 hundred students with a potential increase to 1000 units in partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College which will be subject to funding. The university has a budget of €224 million to spend between now and 2018 and one third of this will be spent on the new city centre campus as well as Limerick University Hospital.
Professor Barry said that no decision has been made regarding which schools or faculties will be moving to the new campus even though there has been much interest. According to the president, any faculties interested will have to show what they can bring to the new location to be considered for the move.