Capital Project Planning

To ensure that capital projects at UNL are reviewed by the Chancellor and senior administration, and that they are consistent with university priorities and physical plans, a Capital Planning policy and decision flowchart were established. Together, they provide a well-coordinated and communicated capital planning process. The need for quality university space is considerable with the growth of university programs and research as well as the requirement for existing facilities to meet the university’s teaching, research, and outreach goals. In a time of limited resources, meeting this growing demand requires detailed review, analysis, justification, and connection to the university’s strategic planning priorities. All capital projects, including new construction and/or renovations over $500k are required to follow five basic steps, which are depicted below.

  1. Step 1: Program Concept

    A capital project begins as a concept when a faculty, staff, chair, dean, or other university stakeholder believes that current facilities are not sufficient to meet program requirements and new or renovated facilities will provide a solution.

  2. Step 2: Needs Assessment

    The Chancellor and ELT will assess the concept to determine the overall need, connection to other university programs and initiatives, and consistency with university priorities. The Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance’s (VCBF) office will transmit approval of the capital project to Facilities Planning and Construction (FPC) and the Campus Planning Committee (CPC). Once approved, the VCBF office will forward approval to FPC for an early estimate.

  3. Step 3: Early Estimates

    The intent of this phase is to acquire additional information about the concept project including general requirements, sizing, implications, and projected costs. Once approval is received, FPC staff and/or outside consultants will work with the originator(s) of the project and Campus Planning to identify the needs, requirements, and costs. Once complete, the project is added to the official university capital planning priority list.

  4. Step 4: Programming

    Programming can begin once all approvals are finalized. This involves the creation of a formal program statement by FPC in conjunction with requisite university stakeholders and the CPC. Once created, the draft program statement is vetted to the CPC and the Aesthetic Review Committee (ARC) for input, modified accordingly, and finalized.

  5. Step 5: Formal Program Statement and Board Approval

    If under $5 million, the project can begin once the program statement is complete. Projects over 1 million but less than $5 million are reported to the Board of Regents (BOR). If $5 million or greater, the final program statement is submitted to the BOR for consideration as an agenda item.   Once the program statement is approved by the BOR, design and construction can begin.