Dundalk IT pull the plug on funding application for velodrome
Dundalk IT have pulled the plug on their application for funding for the proposed international standard velodrome at the former JJB facility following opposition to the project from students.
Despite reports that the three bodies behind the plans – Cuchulainn Cycling Club, DkIT and Cycling Ireland – were continuing with their funding application following a meeting yesterday, the college this morning notified the Students’ Union that they would not be doing so – despite a deadline of February 28th to secure funding for the project.
A Dundalk IT Students’ Union source told Talk of the Town this morning that: “We got word from DkIT today that they did not go ahead with the funding application and won’t be doing so.”
That leaves the project very much up in the air.
Earlier this week students voted almost unanimously against the proposal for the velodrome. After lobbying students last week, 40 class reps met to discuss the matter and after listening to Dundalk IT president Denis Cummins, voted by 39 votes in favour of rejecting the proposals. No one supported the project, although one class rep did abstain.
The students are frustrated that plans for the velodrome at the JJB facility at Dundalk Retail Park were announced without consulting them. They have a key interest in the facility after agreeing to pay an additional €125 in their annual fees to help subsidise the college’s purchase of the facility last year.
The students claim that Mr Cummins has given them a commitment that the velodrome will not go ahead without their consent.
While that remains to be seen, it had been understood that the three bodies were hopeful of changing student opinion by outlining that the velodrome would only take up a portion of the facility. They insist that as well as an international standard velodrome, there will also be a 20-metre pool, four indoor soccer pitches, an international sized skating rink, two 5,000 sq metre gyms, plunge pools, saunas, 12 multipurpose fitness suites, eight badminton courts in the middle of the velodrome, 12,000 sq metres of vacant space for a range of new facilities and 550 car parking spaces.
Yesterday, cycling website Sticky Bottle reported that those involved in the plan acknowledge the vote in the college was a step backwards and that the students’ views need to be respected.
Sticky Bottle said attempts will now be made to convince the students that plans for the track would contribute to making the college a stand-out facility for sporting excellence, enhance the college’s reputation and improve its sporting facilities for students.