Residents begin moving into Printing House Square

The new development provides 249 student bedrooms, a new health centre, a disability centre, sporting facilities and a new square on campus

After a process of five years, Printing House Square will finally open today, with students moving in throughout this week.

The new development provides 249 ensuite rooms on Pearse Street.

Ensuite rooms are clustered in flats of six to eight with a shared kitchen and common area, and are offered to students based on a waiting list.

The rates range from €245 to €270 per week, depending on bedroom size, plus €19 per week for utilities.

The new development will also provide a new health centre, a disability centre, sporting facilities and a new square on campus.

Built on the site of Oisin House, a former office building, which itself was built on the site of the Queen’s Theatre, the project has faced significant roadblocks since its approval in 2016.

Originally planned to be completed in April 2019, the project faced significant logistical problems, including an industrial dispute. The project also faced delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with construction running at 50% capacity due to social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Conservation works on the Rubrics building are due to be completed in February 2023, which will provide nine student rooms, 17 staff studio apartments and five guest rooms.

College has also received planning permission for 358 new beds in Trinity Hall in Dartry, despite objections from local residents, which would increase capacity by 36%.

The construction of Printing House Square was expected to be completed for spring 2021, after facing several delays over the last few years.

A new shooting range is also to be opened underneath the newly developed Printing House Square campus accommodation.

The new range in Printing House Square will replace previous facilities on campus used by The Dublin University Rifle Club (DURC), which has been in existence in Trinity for over 60 years.

According to DURC’s website, the range will be set up for 10m air rifle and 25yd small-bore shooting.

A spokesperson for College told Trinity News that the range has been developed with the latest design regulations, executed with the advice of the Department of Justice and a representative of An Garda Síochána, to ensure maximum security.

The spokesperson said: “We believe the security arrangements are second to none. The range and club operating model meet the required national safety and security standards, along with appropriate procedures and approval systems within the University.”

“DURC will continue their long standing presence as a University club from the new Printing House Square facilities later this year.”

DURC is one of 49 sports clubs in Trinity, dedicated to target shooting, including the air rifle and small-bore disciplines.

In 2015, concerns from College Board members arose following the announcement that a range would be included in Oisín House.

The accommodation complex was expected to be completed in the summer of 2020; however, construction on the site had to halt due to the lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020.

Speaking to Trinity News in November of 2020, a College spokesperson confirmed: “At the last Student life Committee meeting (October 13) the project sponsor Professor Kevin O’Kelly reported that Printing House Square is currently due for completion in spring 2021.”

At the Dublin University Central Athletic Committee (DUCAC) AGM, Head of Trinity Sport Michelle Tanner when asked about the delays to Printing House Square said the delays were due to disruptions caused by the pandemic as well as unspecified “legal issues”.

Tanner explained that College “should make a statement on [Printing House Square] soon”.

In July of 2020, reported that concerns over students’ “late-night” behaviour at TrinityHall had prompted residents to reject College’s plans for 358 extra bed spaces.

As well as providing six storeys of accommodation for students, Printing House Square will house a new Health Centre, the Disability Service, and sports facilities, including a rifle range, squash courts and a handball alley.

The building will be located on the former site of Oisin House and beside the Printing House, and will feature a courtyard that will serve as a new public entrance to campus.

Construction on Printing House Square began in December 2017, with an official sod-turning taking place on the site of Oisín House on 17 December 2017.

Speaking on the significance of the day at the time, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President Kevin 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 “it’s great to see we’re going to have this number of beds available in the next 18 months to two years”.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.