COUNTY CLARE SIDE OF THE SHANNON RIVER
The university's Foundation Building, including the University Concert Hall (home to the Irish Chamber Orchestra), the library and several others, were built during the 1990s. The Materials & Surface Science Institute (MSSI) building, Dromroe Student Village, a sports arena and swimming pool were built between 2000 and 2004. In 2005, the Engineering Research Building and Millstream Courtyard buildings opened in a complex near the Foundation Building.
The Kemmy Business School building was constructed next to the Schuman Building, and is the world's first business school with a live trading floor. Several new buildings have opened on the north bank of the Shannon. The University Bridge, opened in late 2004, provides road and pedestrian access to the planned North Bank campus. Thomond Village was the first North Bank facility (opening in 2004), followed by the Health Sciences Building in 2005. The Living Bridge, a pedestrian bridge, connects the Millstream Courtyard and the Health Sciences Building. Cappavilla Village was completed in mid-2006 on the North Bank; a building for the Irish World Music Centre (formerly in the Foundation Building basement), began construction in May 2007 and was completed in January 2010. An architectural-faculty building is under construction opposite the CSIS building. The university hopes to expand the North Bank campus to the size of the original campus.
The on-campus University Arena is Ireland's largest indoor sports complex. Open since 2002, it consists of the National 50m Swimming Pool. The arena's 3,600-square-metre (4,300 sq yd) Indoor Sports Hall has four wooden courts for a variety of sports, a sprint track, an international 400m athletics track and a 200m, three-lane, suspended jogging track. The facility has a cardiovascular and strength-training centre, a weight-training room, team rooms, an aerobics studio and classrooms. The Arena is often used by the Munster rugby team.
Its €28 million development was made possible with €7.6 million in government grants, a €6.9 million donation from the University of Limerick Foundation, about €4 million in student contributions and commercial funding. Each year, it accommodates over 500,000 customers and many international athletes and teams.
The arena hosted the 2010 Special Olympics Ireland Games, from 9 to 13 June. In one of the year's largest Irish sporting events, 1,900 Special Olympians from throughout Ireland participated in the games.
UL's €9 million, all-weather sports complex on the North Campus is the largest all-weather sports-field complex in Europe. The multi-purpose, floodlit, artificial turf park has two soccer, one rugby and one GAA pitch. Third-generation all-weather surfaces are similar to natural grass and are designed for full contact. Each full-size pitch can be sub-divided to create smaller playing areas for various sports. The largest artificial-grass development in Ireland to date, it is designed to World Rugby, GAA and FIFA specifications.
The synthetic surface reduces the risk of injury caused by hard or uneven surfaces. The Sports Pavilion Building has changing rooms, squad and coaching rooms and bar, restaurant and conference facilities. The complex is funded from a number of sources, including operating income and campus-based commercial activities.
The playing pitches opened in July 2011, and the Sports Pavilion was expected to open in November 2011.[needs update] The facility is available to the general public as well as the campus community. In addition to these facilities, conventional playing fields, tennis courts, an artificial-turf pitch, an outdoor athletics track and the University Boathouse are on the Limerick side of the river. The boathouse has Ireland's only indoor rowing tank, which can accommodate up to 8 rowers simultaneously. The tank can simulate a variety of water conditions, providing training opportunities for rowers to reach international standards. The building also includes a launch jetty into the Shannon, a pontoon and a café.