Covid-19 delays hit UCC’s studentbeds plans at Crow's Nest

Covid-19 delays hit UCC’s studentbeds plans at Crow's Nest

Construction of new student accommodation, a health centre and a retail unit on the site of the former Crow's Nest bar, Victoria Cross, Cork.

PLANS by University College Cork (UCC) to substantially boost its student accommodation offering in time for the 2021/2022 academic year have been derailed by Covid-19 restrictions.

The delay means the university has missed the target date originally set to complete the 255-bed-space accommodation units at the site of the former Crow’s Nest public house and restaurant in Victoria Cross.

The arrival of the pandemic earlier this year forced a seven week closure of construction sites nationally, including the Sisk site at Victoria Cross.

A spokesperson for UCC said while they had “originally planned to complete the project in time for the 2021/2022 academic year”, the seven week delay had thwarted this.

“While we were on target for completing on time prior to the lockdown, the seven week site closure, and the ongoing implementation of the Covid-19 safety protocol since sites have reopened, have resulted in a delay to the project. It is now planned to complete the project in late 2021," he said.

Currently, UCC has a student bed complement of 1,279. In addition to extra beds at the Crow’s Nest site, the development will also include a medical facility/wellness centre, a commercial/café unit and 128 bicycle parking spaces.

UCC has a number of additional significant projects in the pipeline including plans for a new Cork University Business School (CUBS) which will bring 4,000 students into the city centre. The UCC spokesperson said they were “close to completion” of the defined project brief for CUBS and that they will be issuing requisitions for tenders to the shortlisted design teams next month.

“It is planned that the successful design team will be appointed by summer 2021 and that construction will commence in early 2023, with completion in early 2025,” the spokesperson said.

The school will be located on 1.46 acres at the former home of builder’s yard, Brooks Haughton, on South Terrace/Cogley Street.

Another major UCC project is the development of a new dental school and hospital at the Cork Science and Innovation Park in Curraheen.

The spokesperson said detailed design for the 8,500 sq m project is close to completion, with requests for tender due in the New Year.

“Contractors have been shortlisted and it is planned to issue the requests for tender in January,” the spokesperson said.

“Works are expected to begin in summer 2021 with a completion in early 2023.”

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