Student residences in line for summer renovations

MERVILLE and Belgrove student residences are set to be renovated over the next five years. The residences, which were originally built during the 1980s, will undergo refurbishment as part of routine maintenance which is carried out on all buildings in the univeristy.A trial refurbishment of one house of six apartments in Merville residences, which was carried out last summer, is seen as “extremely successful”, according to Vice-President for Students, Dr Martin Butler. Similar renovations of all houses in the Merville student residences will continue when students move out following the summer exams.Dr Butler admitted that the refurbishment of students’ residences presents a challenge in trying to decide “how many can you do at any point in time.” He hopes that the renovations will be implemented during the summer break “when they [residences] are out of service from students”,which will cause minimal disruption to students living there.Dr Butler added that he hopes that, in time, similar refurbishments will be carried out in the Belgrove residences.Students’ Union (SU) President, Aodhán Ó Deá expressed similar sentiments asserting that “they don’t want to have empty apartments during the year so rennovations will be done during the summer.” He explained that the refurbishments “started on Merville because UCD is waiting to gain ownership of Belgrove [from the lease holder] next year.”He denied any speculation of an increase in rent resulting from the planned renovations, stating that “they have been planning for this for years… it was always in the pipeline.”Alongside the refurbishment of both Merville and Belgrove student residences, there are plans to increase the existing number of residential spaces in Roebuck. The new development, which is called Roebuck Hall 2, will provide accommodation for 134 students and is expected to be available for occupation in August 2010.Dr Butler commented on the Roebuck Hall 2 plans, saying that “there is some good news in regards to planning permission for additional residences, its all part of UCD’s commitment to extend as far as possible.”