An official sod-turning took place today on the site of Oisín House, the residence for Trinity students currently undergoing its first phases of construction.
Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor officiated the sod-turning on the site to mark the beginning of the building phase of a construction over two years in planning.
The minister was accompanied the provost, Patrick Prendergast, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin Keane, Dean of Students Kevin O’Kelly and the college bursar and director of strategic innovation, Veronica Campell, who all wore hard hats and high visibility jackets for photographs.
Oisín House, located on Pearse Street, is expected to house 250 students in six and eight bed units around a common living room and kitchen area. The six storey complex will also include the Disability Service located on the ground floor, as the College Health servive, three squash courts and a handball court. The earliest possible completion date for the complex has been set at April 2019.
Speaking on the significance of the day, Keane stated it was a moment to “recognise that there has been significant work done” by College in the creating accommodation for its students, adding that “its great to see we’re going to have this number of beds available in the next 18 months to two years”.
The complex will be located on the site of the old Department of Social Protection building. Trinity was set to invest €36 million in the demolition and redevelopment of the complex. Planning permission for the accommodation was approved last July, after an initial rejection due to opposition from An Taisce, as there were concerns over the proximity of the proposed accommodation to the historic 18th century Printing House.
The original seven storey, 13,800 square metres scheme would contravene environmental and housing standards in Ireland. It was also argued by the organisation that the original design would The approved design saw the number of beds cut from 278 and courtyard spaces reduced.