Ambitious plans by the Institute of Technology Tralee to increase student numbers envisages the shedding of its south campus in the Kerry town.
College president Oliver Murphy said a split-campus set-up was costly and difficult. The existing south campus, at Clash closer to the town centre, is 2.4km from the main north campus at Dromtacker on the Listowel Road.
The Dromtacker site overlooking Tralee and the Slieve Mish Mountains currently hosts the nursing, business and leisure along with the catering sides of the academic programme.
College authorities are working towards the north campus being the focus of all 51 courses and college activities under new plans.
The courses in Tralee range from science and agricultural and mechanical engineering, to wildlife biology, catering and creative media, nursing, business and accounting, and law.
Over 3,500 students are currently registered at the college. The proposals for Dromtacker is to transfer around 1,000 students from the Clash campus over a five-year period.
The 60-acre north campus adjoins a 53-acre technology park.
An adjacent new site is being earmarked for the development of a €15m sports academy. With work commencing in September, it will be one of the largest construction projects in the whole IT sector.
The construction over 18 months will employ up to 150 people in Tralee, in a major boost for the local economy.
The sports academy will be the location for Kerry GAA’s Centre of Excellence and home to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann.
ITT plans to dispose of the southern campus which houses the engineering, biology, science and a number of other faculties.
Its sale will provide a revenue stream for a concentration of new facilities at Dromtacker.
Dr Murphy said the integration was part of a push for university status as part of the country’s first technological university when it merges with CIT.
“The objective is to integrate all facilities,” he said.
Some 65% of the students are based in the north campus and the plan is to relocate all students there. Despite a dispute with TUI lecturing staff, a proposed merger with CIT is advancing.
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