Anonymous donor steps in to fund new €3 million UCD running track

The university has confirmed the plans this evening.

The original UCD track was closed down in 2011.
The original UCD track was closed down in 2011.
Image: Cathal Noonan

ALMOST SEVEN YEARS after the original University College Dublin (UCD) running track was closed and ripped up due to ‘health and safety concerns’, an anonymous donor has stepped in to fund the installation of a new track-and-field facility.

The project will cost an estimated €3 million and will be entirely financed by the unnamed benefactor, with the track’s maintenance for the next two decades also covered.

It won’t, however, be situated on the original site — closed down abruptly in 2011, to be replaced by a car park — but located in the campus’ sports and recreation area, near the Clonskeagh Road entrance, alongside the existing sports centre, student centre, national hockey stadium and UCD Bowl.

UCD president, Professor Andrew Deeks, welcomed the generous donation, adding that a key feature of a successful university campus is the availability of world-class sporting and recreation facilities.

“With the support of a major philanthropic donation, the University is proud to announce that it is now able to move forward with the design, planning and development of a new athletics track on the Belfield campus,” he said.

“The lack of an athletics track on the campus has put additional pressure on our athletes, some of whom have had to commute daily between campus and off-campus facilities for their training sessions.”

“We are grateful to these athletes and to the wider university community for their patience. The University always aspired to have a world-class athletics track as part of the university’s overall sporting facilities, but lacked the funding to deliver on this aspiration. We are extremely grateful to the anonymous philanthropist who stepped into the breach, and whose generous donation will now fully enable the track project and the maintenance of the track for the next twenty years, after which the university is committed to maintaining the track.”

“Our entire university community owes an enormous debt of gratitude to this donor, and to all donors to the University, for the remarkable generosity that is enabling us to transform the teaching, research and sporting facilities on campus for this generation and for generations to come.”

Work is due to commence as soon as possible, although UCD have not provided a timeline for completion.

Gavin Cooney
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