By: Jamie Dowling
After eight years of campaigning and two referendums failing to reach the majority vote needed in 2012 and 2014, the McGuire pitches are finally open.
These brand new facilities include four soccer pitches, 2 GAA pitches, one grassed pitch, three hurling walls and 1 Golden Mile Run/Walk way are now open for student use.
The pitches are part of a €28.5 million project which is also set to include a new student centre.
Over half the cost is covered by students with a 36 Euro levy paid each year.
This figure will rise to 90 euro a year from 2019/2020 and will increase by two euro per annum after this.
The SU President Ciara Jo Hanlon spoke of her delight about the opening of the facilities. “I am delighted the pitches are finally up and running; I think it finally shows the students the fruits of their efforts and the rewards of the current student levy.”
The new student centre will be a three-story 3,529 square meter building, adjacent to the Stables Complex and the Library.
The development is to include a 200-seat auditorium, offices, a café, new kitchen facilities which students can use free of charge, new entertainment facilities, multi-functioning study rooms, a new performance area, a new debating chamber, a mindfulness room, and the students’ union office.
This new development is expected to be completed by 2020.