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DCU accommodation plans postponed indefinitely due to financial strain caused by Covid-19

The accommodation blocks were scheduled to begin construction in August.

Image: Shutterstock/jonathonlynam

NEW PLANNED ACCOMMODATION at Dublin City University has been postponed indefinitely due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the university.

A spokesperson for DCU said, “We are working towards delivering new on-campus accommodation but there is no specific date for the construction to begin.”

The complex was due to begin construction in August and would have seen the Larkfield accommodation building on campus demolished to create 1,240 new bedrooms.

However, with an interim loss of 252 beds due to the demolition of Larkfield, the total number of new beds will be 988.

DCU has said that the postponement comes due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the financial strain that it has put on the college.

The president of the Union of Students in Ireland Lorna Fitzpatrick has said that they are “extremely disappointed” at the delays.

“Accommodation like this takes some time to deliver so a long-term view needs to be taken on it in order to address the issue of the lack of affordable accommodation for students throughout the country,” said Fitzpatrick. 

According to DCU, the funding for the new accommodation will be be provided by loan finance, which Fitzpatrick has criticised.

The USI is in favour of publicly funded projects as opposed to the continuation of the National Student Accommodation Strategy policy which relies on colleges and universities seeking loans to finance these projects, which not only makes them less likely to be affordable, but also more at risk of being put on hold or cancelled like in this case.

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Plans were originally unveiled for the accommodation block earlier this year, with seven blocks of apartments planned to be built. An existing accommodation block, football pitches and a car park were scheduled to be demolished to facilitate the construction.

shutterstock_1762011275 DCU's student centre, The U Source: Shutterstock/RG Wallace

In recent years, construction has been a constant in DCU, with a new student centre being finished in late 2018. In 2019, the university completed construction on a new mall area in the centre of the campus.

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