Minister for Finance inspects building works at €12.75m Clinical Education & Research Centre, University Hospital Limerick

19th October 2015

Minister for Finance Mr. Michael Noonan today inspected building works at the Clinical Education and Research Centre (CERC) which is under construction since June 2015 at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

The CERC development is a partnership project between UL Hospitals and the University of Limerick (UL) and is co-funded by both the HSE and UL with an overall project cost of circa €12.75m.                 

The development, which comprises a 3,442m sq four storey building, will accommodate and support the comprehensive educational, training and research needs of both the UL Graduate Entry Medical School and the UL Hospitals medical community across all disciplines.

The new CERC building will accommodate a 150 seat lecture theatre and tutorial rooms on the ground floor, library accommodation and associated facilities on the first floor, academic and administrative and technical support staff offices on the second floor along with education and research facilities on part of the third floor. The remainder of the top floor will be a dedicated research area for the UL Health Research Institute (HRI).

The new CERC building will be a modern facility and will incorporate the latest design standards for education and research facilities, sustainability and quality of the environment for students and staff.   The CERC development will also provide the facilities required at the hospital for Medical Council accreditation of the UL Graduate Entry Medical School. The building has been specifically designed to allow for the future expansion of a further two floors .

Access to the proposed development will be either via a direct building entrance or alternatively from the main UHL Hospital building via a new circulation link integrated with the hospital which will allow direct access for users from the various hospital areas. The building has been strategically located at the centre of the campus to make it as accessible as possible for all healthcare professionals and to encourage its use.

The new CERC development will also include associated external landscaping and excavation works adjacent to the building. The design of the proposed development is sympathetic to the challenges posed by working in an acute hospital campus including, infection control, design standards and sustainability. In advance of the commencement of these main building works, there was an enabling works contract completed during 2014 to provide for car parking spaces displaced by the building.

Chairman of UL Hospital Group Board, Professor Niall O’Higgins added “We heard at our 3rd Annual Research Symposium recently that research, knowledge and evidence are at the heart of efforts to improve quality and patient safety in the health services. We are committed to developing our clinical research portfolio at UL Hospitals together with partners at the UL Health Research Institute, and we look forward now to the completion of this marvellous new building to help facilitate this work.”

Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals said, “With work on the Clinical Education and Research Centre (CERC) building – co-funded by the HSE and the University of Limerick now underway,  it brings to just over €35 million the value of the capital projects to have commenced on the hospital campus in recent months. The CERC building will house the exciting research being conducted on the hospital campus with our partners University of Limerick.”

Professor Michael Larvin, Head of UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School, commented:  “UL is thrilled to see the progress of this state-of-the-art educational facility, further strengthening the links between the University Hospital Limerick and the University itself.  We look forward to seeing our students learn alongside other healthcare students and staff, in the same way that modern multiprofessional healthcare teams now work together.”

Added Professor Don Barry, President of UL , “ We very much look forward to seeing the CERC building develop over the coming months and congratulate everyone to date on its progress, the project will form a very important part of our ongoing research work with the Hospital Group.”

Joe Hoare, Estates Manager, HSE, said, “The CERC building represents the next phase of on-going development proposed for the University Hospital Limerick campus. Last August, we also announced commencement of the fit out and completion works for the new emergency department and also for the delivery of a new 24-bed dialysis unit at University Hospital Limerick. We very much appreciate the co-operation and understanding of everyone inconvenienced during the initial groundwork’s phase. We are delighted with the construction progress to date and thank our design team and our building contractor John Sisk for their continued hard work on the project which is currently on target for completion in September 2016.”