A key element is to bring more campus activities to the city centre.
The investment in the Campus 2030 Masterplan will be across LIT’s four existing campuses — Moylish Park headquarters in Limerick, LSAD (Clare Street), LIT Tipperary campus in Thurles/ Clonmel as well as a 7,000 sq metre new campus at Coonagh, Limerick.
The investment will be the most planned significant expenditure by a third-level institute outside of Dublin in the coming decades.
The three Limerick campuses will be renamed Desmond (city centre), Thomond (Moylish) and Ormond (Coonagh).
The €20m phase one will begin next year and will include the development of the new Irish Fashion Incubator enterprise centre and the redevelopment of an existing 7,000 sq m building which will create a new gateway for LIT in the city.
Other key elements of the project will include LIT’s first student villages for the Ormond and Desmond campuses, new civic spaces on all campuses including Thomond Plaza, adjacent to Thomond Park, which will link the existing Moylish Campus with the rugby stadium.
LIT anticipates a 30% increase in student numbers to 9,000 over the period of the plan.
LIT president Dr Maria Hinfelaar said: “This is not just a milestone moment for our institute but our city and region as we truly believe that this will be a catalyst in the transformation of Limerick and the wider region.
“It’s a milestone for us as we are embarking on an unprecedented level of expansion. It will bring LIT to a new level, by not just dealing with existing capacity issues but facilitating increased demand for places on our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
“A good example of the current demand for places at LIT is our School of Art and Design, which is ranked in the top 50 such colleges in the world but has 900 CAO applications for just 200 places each year.
“Satisfying student demand for our courses so that the quality of our infrastructure will match the quality of our teaching, our applied research and our enterprise supports, is the cornerstone objective of this masterplan,” she said.
“We are extremely engaged also with the impact it will have on Limerick city centre, bringing more people and breathing new life into the city core.”
Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan said the vision of the plan extended beyond the lecture hall: “Located in three campuses across Limerick city, LIT has the capacity to become a focal point for culture, innovation and creativity throughout the city... Limerick is at the start of a new and positive phase of its life.”