The opening of the Phoenix Care Centre in Dublin today not only marks a historic milestone in Irish mental health care, but it is also a fitting beginning to the next phase of the Government’s flagship capital programme project, the creation of the city’s newest urban quarter in Grangegorman.
On the 199th anniversary of the first patient entering the hospital, the patients and staff will begin to move from St. Brendan’s Hospital to the new state of the art Phoenix Care Centre on the northwestern corner of the site.
There will be only a brief lull before the Grangegorman Development Agency moves construction crews in to begin work on adapting some of the old protected structures to make way for the first 1,000 students from Dublin Institute of Technology, who are due to arrive in September 2014.
In addition, work is already well underway in designing the two substantial new buildings onsite which will bring around 10,000 students to Grangegorman by 2017. The Central and East quads will be built as public private partnerships and are being facilitated via infrastructure funding through the Government’s Jobs Stimulus Programme announced in July 2012.
Speaking on the historic milestone of the opening of the Phoenix Care Centre, Mr. John Monahan, new Chairman of the GDA said that he was proud both as a member of the Agency and as a member of the local community, to witness this important occasion.
He said “while the name Grangegorman has always been synonymous amongst Dublin people with psychiatric care, and not always in the most positive of lights, it can now be associated with world class healthcare, soon with third level education and community amenities. As someone who has lived in this area for over 30 years, I can safely say that nothing will ever come close to having the positive injection that the Grangegorman quarter will bring. I would also like to add that the HSE, DIT and GDA are all working together to ensure success in this wonderful project.”
Mr. Michael Hand, Chief Executive Officer of the Grangegorman Development Agency echoed the sentiment of the chairman and added that the Grangegorman project is not just about delivering healthcare and education but is going to drive regeneration in the north inner city. He said “This project is about delivering a new part of Dublin city. It will be a new amenity both for the local community and the new population and it will bring many opportunities in terms of employment, training and education.”
In addition to the refurbishment work that is about to start, a number of old unlisted buildings will be demolished in the coming months. Also a planning application is currently with the planning authority for a new research and business incubation building, known as The Environmental Health Science Institute. The first phase of the public realm construction will also begin this year in preparation for the arrival of the first students next year.
On the health side of the campus a new primary health care centre is to be developed and work has already begun by the GDA and HSE on the preliminary design.