University’s planned Grangegorman move leaves students unsettled in crisis

TU Dublin has plans to have more than 10,000 students on its Grangegorman campus on Dublin’s Northside next September – but many of them are scheduled to be in buildings that weren’t completed when building sites shut down last month.

Architect’s image of the new Central Quad at TU Dublin’s Grangegorman campus, which faces a race against time to complete for the next academic year

TU Dublin has acknowledged that one of its new buildings, the Central Quad, will not be ready for September – November is the new target date. The smaller East Quad, which will house media and arts courses, is still on course for a September opening.

The Liberty interviewed several students planning to continue or start their studies at Grangegorman next autumn to see what their thoughts are about moving to a new campus in the midst of a crisis.

“I think going to Grangegorman will be good. We’ve been in the city centre for three years now so it’ll be nice to experience a campus-based college even if it’s just for a year,” Brónagh Scanlan, a student hoping to start her final year next semester, said.

“I don’t really think it will put an extra strain on my studies.”

Another student hoping to start final year, Martin Hadobás, isn’t optimistic that the move will go ahead, however: “First of all, there is a good chance that we won’t move to Grangegorman in September – either colleges will not open yet, or because of delays, the campus will not be ready.

“Having said that, moving to Grangegorman is exciting, but it will probably come with its challenges. It is going to be great to have a brand new place to go every morning, with new equipment and new people to meet.”

New student Daniel Fitzmorris says: “I know the semester will definitely go ahead – they need the money. They will probably not be implementing social distancing, unless the government is saying to, which it probably won’t by then. It’s just not practical.

“I have no control over the situation, so all I can do is hope for the best.”

“Personally I think the college itself may try to rush things along as if nothing has happened or as if this was only a minor delay as with the snow, as most businesses will most likely,” says returning student Jamie McCarthy. “I think students may retain some elements of social distancing and trying to spread out and keep away from unfamiliar people a little more, sort of as an echo of the trauma response that we are all experiencing due to all this.

“I personally have a feeling that while the college tries to make things go completely as normal student activities and the like will probably see a downturn until everyone has had the chance to be properly vaccinated which could be after the new year.”