A design team has been appointed for the construction of a new €25-million STEM building at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ), a local Fine Gael TD has revealed.
Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, who is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills, said that the new government-funded building would create hundreds of new student places in key areas that will drive regional development and fuel the economy.
The design team of architects and engineers will bring the project through its initial design and planning processes.
“There is growing demand for STEM-related skills in our economy, including in the areas of ICT, engineering and life sciences; and that demand translates to opportunities for our students,” said Deputy Naughton.
“This state-of-the-art development at GMIT will enable students to avail of those opportunities, driving our regional economy and transforming the institute in the years ahead,” she said.
The new 5,500 square-metre building will include labs, multi-purpose rooms, lab-support rooms, seminar rooms and classrooms. It is one of 11 such developments across the country, which will provide 8,000 new student places.
It will be funded through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP ) and is part of a €2.2-billion government investment in the higher-education sector over the coming decade.
“It is a stated aim of this government to have the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. State-of-the-art facilities at our institutes of technology are necessary for reaching that goal,” added Deputy Naughton.
“We can now confirm the scope of the project and the appointment of architects and engineers. This is a major step towards a development that will secure a brighter future for the institute, its students, and the regional economy.”
Almost half of the full-time undergraduate students at GMIT are studying STEM subjects. The number is expected to increase from 2,530 to 3,000 in the next three years.
The new facility will include a ‘live building’ in which engineering students can study the performance of power, water, ventilation, lighting, heating and other systems. The building will be located on the institute’s existing Dublin Road campus.