Capital Priority Policy

GUIDELINES FOR SELECTING PRIORITIES
FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FOR
PUBLIC COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES

I. BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education has the statutory responsibility for recommending funding for higher education facilities at Missouri’s community colleges, Linn State Technical College, and public four-year universities.

These guidelines for prioritizing capital project requests pertain only to major construction projects in the following categories established by the Office of Administration: Renovation and Rehabilitation; Corrective Construction; Energy Conservation; and New Construction, including planning funds for new construction. It is the current policy of the Coordinating Board that funding for routine maintenance and repair for all institutions should be included in the operating appropriations for the public institutions. Consequently, these guidelines anticipate that maintenance and repair will continue to be considered an on-going operational need that is appropriately addressed in the operating budget.

It is the policy of the Coordinating Board to submit a prioritized request to the Governor and General Assembly for the public four-year universities along with the state’s technical college, and a separate prioritized request for public community colleges. This separation allows for proper consideration between the different types of institutions with widely varying needs.

II FACTORS CONSIDERED IN PRIORITY RANKING

The CBHE goal of providing a coordinated, balanced, and cost-effective delivery system of higher education will provide overall guidance in analyzing existing facility space utilization and in making decisions regarding the need for additional or renovated facilities.

In addition, the following policy statements will be considered when establishing relative priorities for capital funding:

  1. All proposed projects should be congruent with both the mission of the institution within the system of Missouri higher education and the respective mission implementation plans as reviewed by the Coordinating Board. Campus facility master plans should address this congruence within a five-year projection of facility requirements for the institution based on enrollment and program needs. The campus master plan, including enrollment trends and projections, will therefore serve as the reference point for documenting facility needs. A copy of the current campus master plan should be on file at the Coordinating Board Office.
  2. Corrective construction and renovation and rehabilitation should, in most instances, precede new construction projects in priority. An institutional decision to retain a facility constitutes an ongoing commitment to bring that facility up to a good condition and to maintain it. Modernization of classrooms and laboratories to incorporate appropriate technology should be an institutional and Coordinating Board priority.
  3. The addition of new square feet typically requires an ongoing financial commitment for campus security, fuel and utilities, maintenance and repair, etc. Absent justification for additional space based on enrollment change, a direct relationship to an approved mission change or enhancement, and/or the identification of available operational and maintenance funding, an increase in any institution’s total square footage should be avoided.
  4. Projects providing program accessibility to buildings for individuals with physical disabilities shall have a high priority.
  5. The overall condition of a facility must be considered when evaluating the appropriateness of renovation and the prioritization of capital projects. In some cases, facilities that are in the poorest condition may more properly be candidates for demolition. In other cases, a fiscally responsible deferred maintenance decision may be more appropriate than the development of a capital request. There are other considerations, like state and campus program priorities, that override the condition of a facility in determining renovation or new construction needs.
  6. Planning funds should precede funds for new construction and should be requested independently. Planning funds should be used to study several alternatives to address programmatic needs. A project which has received a prior recommendation and appropriation for planning funds will be reviewed again when construction funds are requested for the project.
  7. Facilities maintained as auxiliary enterprises including, for example, student housing, parking facilities, and facilities related to intercollegiate athletics are considered to be the responsibility of the institution. State funding for construction of facilities serving a dual role involving auxiliary functions and educational and general purposes should be limited to the documented percentage of the facility serving educational and general purposes.