Construction of Sutherland School of Law begins

Heavy machinery arrived at the building site of the Sutherland School of Law last week, marking the commencement of the School’s construction.The aim behind the UCD Sutherland School of Law is the “development and the creation of new initiatives, to enriching the educational environment of its student body, to working in partnership with the practicing legal profession and to establishing a major, well-regarded and authoritative presence in the international legal community.”Following the government retracting its financial backing for the project in late 2011, the European Investment Bank (EIB), donated ninety million euro to fund the development of several buildings on the UCD campus, including the Sutherland School of Law, as part of the ‘UCD Campus Development Plan 2010-2015’. The aim of this plan is, according to a University spokesperson, “to make the campus more compact, concentrating related activities, and separating academic and leisure functions. The overall redevelopment aims to consolidate and enhance this position of pre-eminence by providing future generations with a sustainable, healthy, and living campus.”UCD President, Hugh Brady, stated that the agreement with the EIB will be extremely advantageous for UCD in terms of strengthening its position in the European university rankings, “the cutting edge teaching, research and student support facilities which this partnership with the EIB will enable will ensure that UCD consolidates and enhances its position at the top table of European universities.”A University spokesperson stated that the “development of the campus follows European efforts to increase investment in research and higher education, and will strengthen UCD’s role in an increasingly competitive academic environment. The ability to locate both industry and academia on the same campus will help increase links between the University and key Irish companies. The new campus development combines refurbishment of existing award-winning buildings and provision of new facilities.”UCD alumnus Peter Sutherland donated a part of the funding required for the building, which is expected to stand at 5,100 square metres and house both undergraduate as well as postgraduate UCD Law students. The building will include a clinical legal education centre, lecture and tutorial rooms, PhD spaces, and a boardroom, as well as social spaces.