THE sod is being turned today on a new €22m sports arena for Cork Institute of Technology.
The event marks the start of a two-phase programme to deliver the state-of-the-art sports facilities on the campus.
Phase one will focus on the construction of the arena while phase two will deliver an indoor community and high-performance sports facility.
The 3,600 sq metres building will accommodate a large multi-function hall incorporating two basketball courts with seating for an audience of 400 people, a gymnasium, a public foyer with integrated café pod, changing/service areas and a series of studio rooms.
The gymnasium will occupy 800 sq metres and will include 100 fitness machines as well as a strength and conditioning area.
The building will also host examination sittings, student concerts, and higher education conferences.
In phase two, the development of the 3,500 sq metre High-Performance Indoor Athletics Centre will feature a large multi-event zone incorporating a sprint track and elite training laboratories, as well as facilities for events such as the high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump.
Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland, said: “This investment by Government will deliver huge benefits for the sporting community in the southern region.”
Dr Barry O’Connor, President of CIT, added: “This development will be a massive boost not only for athletics, but for all sport in Cork, the surrounding community and across Munster generally.”