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Student Centre and Sports Facilities Referendum 2016

Referendum Date - Wed 13th April

Voting from 7am – 8pm online and polling stations on campus

ULSU is asking Students to vote YES to the introduction of an annual levy for a maximum number of years which will contribute to the development of a number of student projects. If more than 15% of students eligible to vote turn out and a majority of 50% plus 1 vote YES then the levy is introduced and the projects go ahead

The levy will commence on a graduated basis in September 2017.  Students will pay €36 in AY2017-18 and AY2018-19, i.e. 40% of the levy. The full levy, €90, will come into effect in AY2019-20. Thereafter a €2 increment will apply each year to reflect inflation. The levy is costed to remain in place for 20 years or less, will end once the total cost of the project is paid for.

Students will be asked to vote YES to the following:

To introduce an Annual Student Levy to contribute to the development of:

1) The design and construction of a new Student Centre.

2) New and enhanced sports facilities including: An upgrade of Maguires field to include two All Weather Pitches, Handball Alleys and a Hurling Wall. An extension to the Sports Arena including the construction of a Climbing Wall, a 25x10m Swimming/Diving Pool with 1m and 3m Diving Boards to a depth of 4m which also includes a floating floor. The expansion of studio facilities such as the creation of a dedicated Martial Arts Room with club storage facilities, the relocation of the Elite Weight Training Area and the development of an individual Group Fitness Zone area.

Project overview 

1) A new, welcoming and inviting student centre will be a place that encourages interaction between students, a place to fully engage with university life. The new SU will be a place to chill out and a social centre in the campus which creates a sense of ownership among students. The inclusion of new meeting areas will allow students hold events within the SU, which will be able to cater for 200 – 300 people, from class rep meetings to large society meetings.

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You spoke, we listened! 
The Student Centre will include all of the followingreferendum2

Proposed location of Student Centre

The location of the proposed new student centre will be centrally located along one of the primary pedestrian routes across the campus.

Consideration will be given to the co-location of the new centre with existing student facilities on campus.

It is important that the proposed centre establishes a powerful focal point of student life on campus and integral to the overall role of the University in firstly attracting and more importantly retaining students on campus.

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2) New and enhanced sports facilities including: An upgrade of Maguires field to include two All Weather Pitches, Handball Alleys and a Hurling Wall. An extension to the Sports Arena including the construction of a Climbing Wall, a 25x10m Swimming/Diving Pool with 1m and 3m Diving Boards to a depth of 4m which also includes a floating floor. The expansion of studio facilities such as the creation of a dedicated Martial Arts Room with club storage facilities, the relocation of the Elite Weight Training Area and the development of an individual Group Fitness Zone area.

sport ref 1

sports ref 2

sports ref 3

 

FAQ's

Why are we having another Referendum on these projects?

In the last Referendum in 2014, 63% of students voted ‘yes’ but the Referendum did not pass, as a qualified majority, 66.6%, in favour was required for a proposal to pass.

Student representatives decided as the majority voted ‘yes’ in 2012 & 2014 and some changes were made to the projects since that vote, that it should be put to students again in 2016.

 

What is a valid result in a referendum?

In order for the referendum to be valid at least 15% of students (~2047) must vote. A simple majority, i.e. 50%+1 or more, must be in favour for the referendum to pass.

 

Where does the money from the Student Levy go?

The total cost of the projects is estimated to be €28,590,000.

The levy collected from Students will cover 55%, i.e. €15,760,000 of the build cost.

UL have agreed to cover 45%, i.e. €12,830,000 of the capital costs as well as the maintenance and operational costs of the Student Centre building.

How long will the levy be in place?

The levy will be in place for 20 years or less. The levy has been calculated to contribute to the repayment of the loan over 20 years based on current numbers with a small increase in student numbers.. If student numbers increase over the lifetime of the levy, more than projected,  it means more students will be paying it, therefore the period of time needed will be less and the levy may end before 20 years has passed. Annual financial reports will be provided to ULSU tracking student numbers and the loan repayments through the levy.



What are the costs associated with the 2 individual projects being proposed in the referendum?

 project costs

What is the timeline for the completion of the sports facilities?

It is envisaged that the timeline for completion of the all-weather pitches is 18 months, therefore if approval is given in April 2016 they will be ready by September  2017, with the grass pitches being ready 6 months later in April 2018. The arena extension which includes diving pool, new studios, a climbing wall and handball alleys will take between 18 months- 2 years to complete

What is the timeline for the completion of the student centre?

The timeline for the design and construction of the Student centre is 3 years, therefore if approved in April 2016, it will be ready in April 2019

If the referendum is passed what effect will this have on the financing of other buildings? eg. Library.

The funding of these projects covered by the referendum are separate from any other building project underway or planned by UL and therefore do not affect current or future building projects. These projects will be funded by an EIB loan, drawn down by UL specifically for these projects and the levy will contribute to the repayment of the loan.

Are there any short-terms benefits to students by voting YES?

At present, in the absence of any levy being in place, some student capitation is used to contribute to the current arena extension project. If a majority of students vote YES on April 13th and the Referendum is passed, these additional funds will be diverted to ULSU annually and students will benefit by

(i)                  C&S having additional funds available for budgets, thus reducing some of the pressure on fundraising  and

(ii)                the SU will have additional funds to provide new supports and services for students.

Another short-term benefit is that the 25 M pool as part of the Arena extension will be available from January 2017



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