Work begins on €22M Sports Facility at CIT/MTU
Published on: Monday, 22 June 2020
The sod was turned this morning on the new CIT/MTU Arena project by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD. This event marked the commencement of a 2-phase programme which will ultimately see in excess of €22M invested in state-of-the-art sports facilities on the CIT/MTU Bishopstown Campus.
Phase one of the development programme will focus on the construction of the CIT/MTU Arena while phase two, funded significantly on foot of a successful joint proposal from Athletics Ireland and CIT to the Government’s Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, will deliver an indoor community and high performance sports facility.
The CIT/MTU Arena is designed to be a multi-functional building. It will support three main strands of activity under the following headings: Sports/Fitness, Societies/Social and Academic/Educational. The 3,600m2 building will accommodate a large multi-function hall incorporating two basketball courts with seating for an audience of 400 people, a gymnasium, a public foyer with integrated café pod, changing/service areas and a series of studio rooms. The gymnasium will occupy an area of 800m2 and will include 100 fitness machines as well as a strength and conditioning area. In addition to catering for the needs of the sports community, the building will host examination sittings, student concerts, higher education conferences and conventions (with the capacity to accommodate 1,000 attendees), conferring ceremonies, student exhibitions, student society activities and much more. The project is designed to achieve a very low energy usage and NZEB (Nearly Zero Energy Building) standards.
In phase two, the development of the 3,500m2 High Performance Indoor Athletics Centre will feature a large multi-event zone incorporating a sprint track and elite training laboratories, as well as facilities for events such as the high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump. It will also provide some office space.
Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland, describes the development as a huge step forward in the strategic development of athletics not just in Cork, but for sport generally in the region. According to Adams, “This investment by Government will deliver huge benefits for the sporting community in the Southern Region. The exciting plans we have for this facility, in conjunction with CIT/MTU, will create opportunities for all.”
Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT, adds “This development will be a massive boost not only for athletics, but for all sport in Cork, the surrounding community and across Munster generally. We look forward to working with Athletics Ireland in ensuring the High Performance facility will help to inspire future generations of athletes for many years to come. The recent opening of the Kerry Sports Academy by our MTU partners, IT Tralee, will complement developments here in Bishopstown and will secure the Munster Technological University as a unique resource for ensuring that sport and wellness are to the fore in our new technological university. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the many athletics clubs and sporting organisations who have backed this development, as well as acknowledging the support of our Governing Body in addition to that of our students and staff, past and present. The support and enthusiasm of CIT Student Services and CIT Students’ Union were indispensable in bringing this project to a reality. We look forward to the ever increasing participation and national and international successes of our sporting talent.”