The latest addition to the ambitious expansion plans of Athlone Institute of Technology, a €36 million extension to the engineering faculty, will be opened next month in time for the new academic year.
The three-storey, six block, 11,000 sqm development had its foundation stone laid in March 2008 by the then Tanaiste Brian Cowen, and was to have originally taken 18 months to complete. However, due to an unrealistic building schedule, the planned September 2009 opening was put back a year for a more measured snagging and fit-out process.
The new extension will add laboratories, lecture theatres, classrooms and offices to the built infrastructure of the institute, as well as internal and external courtyards.
The college hopes to increase its undergraduate population by 20 per cent over the next five years with this facility, eventually catering for around 1,000 students in the engineering faculty. At postgraduate level, the AIT hopes to double its numbers over the next two years to 150.
The faculty will be able to offer courses in most engineering disciplines, including civil, mechanical, plastics, mineral, computing and software. It will also be able to cater for a greater number of students in the associated trades under the auspices of FAS.