Initiate a Project

Initiate a Project

What is a Capital Project?

"Capital projects" are renovations and new construction with estimated total costs of $100,000 or more, including:

  • New Construction Projects
  • Renovation Projects
  • Buying new facilities
  • Buying land
  • Buying equipment
  • Buying new information systems
  • In general, buying anything “lasting” that costs more than $100K

If a total project is likely to be over $100K but initial phases of the project are less than the threshold, those phases are still considered a capital project and should be initiated by following the procedure listed below. Projects that total $500K or over should also be included in your School/Centers Capital Plan. Please visit the Capital Planning section of our website for forms and more information.

Renovations and other projects with estimated total costs of less than $100,000 are normally not capitalized. Non-capital projects are budgeted and charged directly to the school/center's operating budget using object code 5407. Items typically not considered as capital are:

  • Projects under $100K - See the Maintenance and Renovations section of our website for project initiation guidance.
  • Regular Operations & Maintenance - Paid via allocated costs or directly
  • Facilities Related Customer Work - Work orders booked to object code 5407

Project Approval Level and Documentation Requirements

Effective June 15, 2012, the following thresholds are applied to Capital Projects:

  • Projects equal to or greater than $500,000 must be submitted to CAG for approval. Full funding plans must be identified prior to any CAG approval.
  • Projects equal to or greater than $1,000,000 must be submitted to Capital Council for approval.
  • Projects equal to or greater than $5,000,000 must go to the Trustees for approval. Please work with your Director of Design and Construction for guidance and to complete the appropriate paperwork.

Please also note:

  1. The thresholds as described above apply to CITE projects as well.
  2. For Leases, the Request for Lease Space paperwork will still be required for approval by the Dean, Vice President, Vice Provost, or Resource Center Director for all requests under $250,000. For all request over $250,000 Provost or EVP approval is required even though formal CAG approval is not required unless the lease is over $500,000. Further description of the leasing process can be found here.
  3. All projects greater than or equal to $100,000 require a Capital Needs Statement, Project Budget, Project Scope Document, and Certification Request. Projects under $100,000 require a Capital Needs Statement and Project Budget.
  4. Certification Request is sent to the Treasurer's Office upon final project approval.
  5. Notice of Funding Transfer is sent to Facilities Services Comptroller's Office upon the transfer of project funding.

All Capital Projects must follow the following procedure:

  1. School/Center fills out the Capital Needs Statement (CNS). Please note that the CNS form should include a description of project funding sources. This includes any loan funding that will be required during the project, whether funds have been awarded/pledged, and the timeframe for receipt. To the extent that the project will be funded from unrestricted reserves or balances, the specific account should be cited, along with the available balance. The School/Center should forward the form for the appropriate signature(s) based on financing and total project cost. (Refer to the CNS form for guidelines on appropriate signatures.)
  2. Once the signed CNS form is sent to fresline@exchange.upenn.edu, Facilities will create a project number, assign a Project Manager, and will work with Accounts Payable to create a program number for accounting purposes.
  3. Facilities will work with the School or Center to help them complete their approval process. Depending on the project amount, there are varying levels of approvals needed.
  4. Once the project has begun and a contract is in place, the funds will need to be certified. Facilities will initiate this process with the School or Center when appropriate.

Fiscal Year 2015 Calendar

A calendar of the Capital Advisory Group, Capital Council, Trustee Committee meetings can be found below.

View Calendar Page

Please note that materials will need to be submitted ahead of time for review by Committee members. Submission times vary but are often at least one week ahead of time. Please coordinate with your project management team for financial review and approvals.

In addition to the financial review process, major new buildings, additions and landscape improvements to the campus must be reviewed by the University's Design Review Committee and the Trustees Facilities and Campus Planning Committee. Presentations to the Design Review Committee, Trustees, and University senior leadership are coordinated by members of the FRES project management team.

 


Capital Advisory Group (CAG)

CAG’s responsibilities are to:

  • Evaluate a project’s contribution toward achieving the University’s objectives and the School/Administrative Center’s in evaluating and developing capital projects
  • Frame issues for the guidance of Capital Council and Schools/Administrative Centers in evaluating and developing Capital projects
  • Evaluate program needs
  • Evaluate the proposed solutions for meeting the program needs
  • Evaluate cash flow projections
  • Analyze project funding sources
  • Review projected building Operations and Maintenance needs/costs
  • Evaluate Central University financial commitments to the project, both interim and permanent, to assess their impacts on Central University cash resources
  • Assess the effect of potential project-related debt service on the School/Administrative Center’s five year operating budget projections
  • Evaluate the proposed project in conjunction with the Facilities Renewal Needs of the School/Administrative Center

The Capital Advisory Group’s membership includes representatives from the following University offices:

  • Vice President for Facilities Services, Chair
  • Executive Vice President
  • Provost
  • Vice President for Finance
  • Development and Alumni Relations
  • Treasurer
  • Budget and Management Analysis

Information that is presented to CAG is:

  • Project Needs
  • Project scope
  • Project Budget
  • Project Funding
  • Project Schedule
  • Cash Flow
  • Operations and Maintenance Implications

 


Capital Information Technology and Equipment (CITE) Committee

In place of CAG for IT and Equipment purchases

Virtual Committee - meets via email

  • Scope Summary word document and signed Capital Needs Statement

Committee Members

  • VP for Budget and Management Analysis
  • VP Finance and Treasurer
  • Vice Provost for Research
  • Managing Director Design and Construction
  • VP for ISC

Capital Council

Capital Council reviews, evaluates, and approves capital projects whose cost is $1,000,000 or more. Capital Council’s approval to move forward with the development of the project may contain qualifications and recommendations for modifications to the project’s scope, schedule, or costs.

Capital Council’s membership includes:

  • President
  • Provost
  • Executive Vice President
  • Vice President for Finance and Treasurer
  • Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
  • Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate Services
  • Past President of the Faculty Senate
  • Vice President for Budget and Management Analysis
  • Senior Vice President and General Counsel

A calendar of the Capital Advisory Group, Capital Council, Trustee Committee meetings