Theological Institute refurbishment gets underway

Wednesday July 8th 2009

Pictured with the plans for the refurbishment of the residential block of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute are (left to right) David Young from Hamilton Young Architects, Grace Dempsey, Robert Neill representing the Representative Church Body and the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott, Director of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.Work has begun on the refurbishment of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute (CITI).

The Representative Church Body (RCB) has been actively considering how best to meet the accommodation needs institute . While long-term options might include an integrated approach to housing the CITI and the central church headquarters together, taking into account the current challenging economic climate, the RCB decided earlier this year that a phased approach was needed for any such development but that refurbishment of the existing CITI buildings was clearly required.  

With its important training mission, the work of the Institute is a patent priority for the Church. So the RCB has decided to take advantage of competitive building prices in the current market and after careful planning and costing, refurbishment of the CITI is now underway during this summer.

Anyone familiar with the Braemor Park buildings in Churchtown (South Dublin) – made up of an elegant red-brick mansion block and a later (1960s) modern accommodation wing – will appreciate how time has taken its toll. The contemporary needs of student-ordinands and visitors were increasingly not being adequately met but the improvements programme is set to remedy that.  

The full schedule of work in the residential facilities will result in 27 en-suite rooms, including one specifically designed for a disabled user. A further 14 upgraded rooms will share 10 toilet/shower rooms. In line with contemporary needs, each room will have access to the internet, and there will also be upgraded communal kitchen facilities.   Within the main building, improvements will be made in order to meet universal access requirements and the dining room is being refurbished, while a number of academic offices are being created and significant redecoration carried out throughout.  

The contractor started on site in early June and the project, which has received all the relevant fire certifications and planning permissions, is expected to be completed by early September – in time for the new training year.  

Speaking at a photo-call marking the refurbishment work on July 1, CITI Director the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott, said: “We are pleased to see the capital refurbishment works now underway at the CITI which coincides with the commencement of the new MTh course and we look forward to providing excellent facilities to next year’s residents in Braemor Park.”

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