Otago University has given up waiting for the Government to help fund a new dental school and has begun drawing up plans itself.
The replacement of the country's only dentistry training facility is estimated to cost between $50 million and $100 million.
Vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne says the university has gone to the Government unsuccessfully a number of times, and with the Christchurch rebuild it has become clear it will have to go it alone.
Professor Hayne says the university has to decide whether the existing building, a category 1 historic place, should be refurbished and extended - or a new facility built nearby.
Either way, she says, it might take about five years to build.
Dental Association president Geoff Lingard says the decision is well overdue because the current facility is hopelessly inadequate.