‘Exceptional campus’ praised by dignitaries

by Gazette Reporter

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore officially launched the new €9.5m further education campus in Blackrock recently, with the facility the new home of Senior College, Dun Laoghaire – now known as Blackrock Further Education Institute (BFEI).
Minister Gilmore officiated at the handover, with educators from Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education Training Board and the management of the college celebrating the historic event when the new state-of-the-art campus development on Blackrock’s Main Street opened its doors on May 15.
The multimillion euro campus has been funded by the Department of Education and Skills, designed by architects McCullough Mulvin, and built by Collen Construction.
Senior College Dun Laoghaire moves to the new premises in early June, and from then on will be known as BFEI.
The institute is one of the largest dedicated further education colleges in the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board, and will cater for more than 1,000 full- and part-time students when it opens for its first academic year in September.
Its facilities include computer laboratories, design studios, beauty salons and an ICT learning centre, which will benefit school leavers and adults returning to education.
The campus also includes social areas for students and a modern cafeteria.
The new building combines the original Blackrock Town Hall, Carnegie Library and Municipal Technical School – which are all protected structures from the 1860s and early 1900s – and the refurbished Blackrock Library.
At the launch, the Tanaiste said: “The Government is prioritising education, training and skills development as an essential element of Ireland’s economic competitiveness and growth, contributing to jobs creation and the recruitment needs of home-grown businesses and foreign investing companies.
“This is an exceptional new campus which will meet the further education requirements of student and adult learners through the National Framework of Qualifications.
“I compliment the Education Training Board, the architects, builders and everyone involved in this new building on the overall very high quality that has been achieved throughout this entire development.”
Deirdre Hanamy, principal of the college, said: “This new building will bring a welcome and significant upgrading of facilities for staff and students and it will enhance and strengthen our ability to achieve our mission, which is to provide a quality teaching and learning experience for students.
“Further education institutes have a significant part to play in the education and upskilling of the future workers of this country, and have a responsibility to ensure that courses on offer are industry relevant, quality assured, accessible and affordable.
“The provision of this new building is a welcome recognition by the Government of the educational contribution that the further education sector has made and will continue to make to the local and wider community in the future.”
BFEI offers an extensive list of courses at Level 5 and Level 6 across a diverse range of topics, while new courses on offer from this September include games design and development, arts and business management, and graphic and set design.
For further information, see www.scd.ie.

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