The target date for completion of the new Student Hub building has been pushed from February to March, according to DCU SU president Niall Behan.
Commencement on the €14 million project began in late June 2016 and was aimed to be finished on February 28th, 2017, but now is estimated to be completed sometime in March.
“From a more personal perspective, we do want to see it go up because I think the longer students are out of this building, the less this is their home,” said Behan. “I think we have seen very much a decrease in engagement with the SU in general just because there hasn’t been a purpose built space for students to go to, so we are definitely behind any negotiations that will help it get done any quicker.”
The new four storey space will replace what was once was the Old Bar and Spar and include new venue spaces for student events and social activities, increased meeting room provision for clubs and societies, and new student support and SU spaces.
During construction, Spar has been relocated to The Venue, previously used for DCU club and societies events, causing a need for alternative venues both on and off campus in the previous and upcoming year.
“I suppose it has to be done really, but it’s weird to think of having events in different venues,” said masters student Eoin Luc O’Ceallaigh, who completed an undergraduate degree in DCU in 2016, prior to the start of construction. “We had some of the best nights [in the Hub] so it’s weird to think of taking a bus to another venue because then it doesn’t really seem like a college event, you might as well be in Copper’s.”
DCUfm studios have also been relocated to the Student’s Union, which can be a bit “daunting” to first years, according to DCUfm Station Manager Jack Matthews, but “everybody has to make compromises for the big build, so it’s all right”.
Matthews said while the DCUfm team–who previously met in the SU meeting rooms that have been replaced temporarily by SU offices–has been meeting in the current fm studio, he does not know what the team will do once broadcasting begins.
“When we do start broadcasting it’s going to become difficult to just like hold meetings if we want to meet up with people we are going to have to start booking rooms a bit more often which is a nightmare,” said Matthews.
Office of Student Life Manager Una Redmond stressed the importance of looking at the long term positive effects the new Hub will have on student life:
“It will be great when it’s done and I suppose that’s what we have been saying to students, I know it’s an inconvenience and we were very well aware of that before we started, we’ve tried to minimise that as much as possible, but you can’t knock half a building and rebuild an entirely splendid new building without there being some bit of inconvenience”.
Image Credit: Grainne Jones