Biennial capital budget request, 10-year capital plan to be presented for final approval to BOT at June meeting

Western Today staff

President Bruce Shepard's recommended 2015-17 capital budget request and 2015-25 10-year capital plan will be presented on Thursday, June 12, to the Board of Trustees for final approval. For the 2015-2017 biennium, this plan proposes a total capital funding request of $123,258,500.

The capital plan development process for the 2015-17 biennium began in July 2013. The vice presidents re-evaluated newly defined and existing intermediate projects (those costing between $2 million and $5 million) and major projects (those costing more than $5 million) for the 10-year capital plan submittal. In February, these projects were presented to the University Planning and Resources Council and made available to the campus community on the Facilities Development and Capital Budget website for comment.

Concurrently, individual minor works requests (for those projects costing less than $2 million) were reviewed and prioritized by deans, planning unit leaders, members of the Capital Plan Development Working Group, and vice presidents. This information was also shared with UPRC and the campus community for comment.

The vice presidents met throughout spring 2014 to consider the information gathered by staff, feedback from the UPRC and the campus community, and the strategic needs and goals of the university as refined through the six-year strategic plans. They developed a draft recommended 2015-2017 capital budget request and a draft 2015-2025 10-year capital plan, both of which were presented to UPRC and the campus community and as an informational item at the April 2, 2014, Board of Trustees meeting.

The VPs received constructive and helpful feedback on the proposed 10-year capital plan from both the UPRC and the Board of Trustees. Much of the feedback was supportive of the plan’s emphasis on strategic needs and focus on academic mission. One concern voiced by both the UPRC and the Board of Trustees, however, was how uneven the capital request amounts would appear over time as a result of not submitting a major construction project in FY17-19 while forwarding two major construction projects in FY19-21. Furthermore, the Board suggested a look at combining the predesign, design and construction phases of the projects to allow for projects to be completed faster.

The vice presidents determined that it would be difficult to combine and complete all three phases of a major construction project in one biennium, but that, with careful project management, the predesign and design phases of the Science Building renovation and addition could be combined into the FY15-17 biennia, which would then allow them to seek construction funding in FY17-19. The plan would then have one major construction project in FY17-19 and one in FY 19-21. This decision has been incorporated into the information being presented at the June BOT meeting.

Available on the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget website are the proposed 2015-17 capital budget request, the 2015-25 10-year capital plan and BOT informational attachment, the “Programmatic and Preservation Minor Works” prioritized lists, and the individual minor works requests.

Questions or comments may be directed to Rick Benner, director of the Office of Facilities Development and Capital Budget, at rick.benner@wwu.edu.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 9:34am