The University of Otago is about halfway through a
$490,000 feasibility study looking into the replacement of its
ageing dental school.
The project, which if approved would be the university's most
expensive capital project, is expected to cost between $50
million and $100 million.
Otago University property services director Barry MacKay said
the feasibility study would look into the options for a new
"This stage will consider options for achieving the
objectives of the project and the costs, benefits and risks
of each option. It will include building design and
construction, infrastructure, plant and equipment and
information technology," he said.
The university was about halfway through the study, which was
expected to be completed in March or April next year.
"The architect and cost consultant have both been appointed
and are about to commence the initial briefing and
information-gathering processes, preparatory to the next
steps, being evaluation of options and design solutions."
Once the study was completed, the next step was to develop "a
fully scoped and costed final proposal", which would then
have to be approved by the university's capital development
committee and council for full project funding.
Just over a month ago, Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne
told Radio New Zealand it could take five years to build a
new facility and it was unclear whether the existing building
would be refurbished and added to, or whether a new dental
building would be built nearby and the old building used for
That differed from comments by dean of dentistry Prof Gregory
Seymour, who said a new clinical facility would be built in
the car park of the dental school in Great King St and once
it was built, the old building would be refurbished and used
for research and lectures.