By Sean Ryan - 28 August, 2016
The country’s largest Catholic college this week unveiled plans for a 21st century library and learning resource centre designed to accommodate the college’s increasing student numbers, which are set to reach 5,000 by 2020.
Costed at close to €21 million, the 5,000 metre square building at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) in Limerick City will be situated in the heart of the campus replacing the existing out-dated library.
The current library was built in 1976 for a student population at that time of 750 students.
According to the College President, Fr Michael A. Hayes, “The intervening years have seen a five-fold increase in MIC’s student numbers with huge changes in the ways in which students learn.”
“These factors, coupled with very significant advances in building standards and regulations, means the current library is no longer fit-for-purpose.”
The new build will deliver a future-proofed library/learning resource centre, centrally located within the MIC campus, and addressing the recently constructed Tara building as well as the protected foundation building and residence block.
The positioning of the building relative to Tara and the existing Quadrangle, will allow the demolition of the old Library building to enable the formation of a new Quadrangle and outdoor civic space.
The provision of appropriate landscaping and the gentle terracing of the approach to the new library will enliven this space, while the south-facing orientation of the building and the provision of shelter in the form of the overhanging upper floors of the library building will make this an attractive outdoor space for meeting, learning and relaxing all year round.
Internally, the building will feature a range of learning settings from silent study areas to lively group work rooms.
It will have over 550 study places, and will accommodate over 170,000 volumes.
The library/learning resource centre will also contain a 288 seat lecture theatre, media editing suites, a media studio, seminar rooms, staff offices and all the ancillary spaces necessary for a higher education library.
A planning application has recently been lodged with Limerick City and County Council.
Following planning and funding approval the new building should be operational in late 2018.
As a result of the recent incorporation of St Patrick’s College Thurles MIC is now a multi-campus institution offering nine undergraduate degree programmes in Education and the Liberal Arts as well as a wide range of Continuing Professional Development offerings for teachers and numerous postgraduate opportunities to Masters and PhD level.