CONSTRUCTION of Roebuck Hall 2, the new student residences in Belfield, will cost the university an estimated €1,125,000 over the next 18-months. Construction of the six-story apartment block is set to commence in March or April of this year, as planning permission was obtained in late 2008.

The apartment block will consist of twelve en-suite bedrooms, where students will share a communal kitchen and sitting room. When completed, the apartment block will house 134 students. Inhabitants of Roebuck Hall 2 will benefit from an adjoining car park, which will also be constructed in the coming months.

Students’ Union (SU) Accommodation and Employment Officer, Danielle Pender praised the new development, saying that it would “alleviate some of the housing crisis facing UCD students.” Construction of more campus accommodation across UCD may be considered and this is something that Ms Pender is optimistic about. “We hope to see more housing developments across campus as part of the Gateway plan, but given the current economic climate, I don’t know when that will happen.”

Of the Roebuck Hall 2 student accommodation, Ms Pender stated, “This is something that the SU have been hoping for. We bring the question of accommodation whenever we can… Ideally, we would like to see as much on-campus accommodation that would resolve the housing crisis for UCD students.”

The construction of additional student residences in Belfield is part of the UCD Campus Development Plan 2005-2010-2015. It is projected that accommodation for at least 5,000 students will be provided on campus within the next five years. Currently there are over 2484 spaces available for students on campus.

In a speech addressing staff members on the current financial situation of the university, on Thursday, 29th January, UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady stated that despite the university’s current budget deficit of €15 million, UCD would continue to expand its existing campus.

Kavanagh Tuite Architects designed the original Roebuck Hall student residence and will supervise the construction on the second phase of the project. It is hoped that the construction will be completed in late 2010, with students inhabiting the apartments shortly after this.