Options for new dental school investigated

Barry MacKay
Barry MacKay
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 dental school.

"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 another department.

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.





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