Topics Map > Facilities > Buildings
Topics Map > Administration & Governance > Administrative Resources > For Department Chairs and Program Directors

What is the Capital Budget/Building Program?

This document provides an overview of the capital projects process, employed for large scale construction and/or land acquisition, for purposes of new construction, addition, renovation, or infrastructure repair.

"Capital projects" refer to any construction project or land acquisition in excess of $185,000, whether new construction, an addition, renovation, or infrastructure repair. Major new construction (greater than $500,000) and many major renovations over $500,000 require enumeration in the State biennial budget. The State's Capital Program Budget is the traditional funding source, but practically speaking most major new construction projects require fund-raising for some portion of the cost. Repair and replacement projects may be eligible for funding from the State's All-Agency Program, a general reserve fund administered by DSF and available to all state agencies. FP&M staff initiate and direct proposals for infrastructure projects (see

The L&S Dean oversees the development of the L&S biennial capital budget program for new construction or building-wide renovation.  Project priorities are based on urgency, project and site readiness, the L&S and campus master plans and funding considerations.  Please contact Chris Bruhn with any questions.   

It is important to note the lead time on projects over $185,000 but less than $2 million is typically a minimum of eighteen months. For larger projects, the lead time can be multiple years depending on scope, cost, funding sources, site considerations among other issues. If a project is to be fully funded via gift sources, FP&M and UW System have a process that can expedite the process.  Consult with Chris for more information.   

The Campus Planning Committee (CPC) reviews and ranks proposals for inclusion in the Capital Building Program, regardless of the funding source. This consideration is a two-year process leading to inclusion in the State biennial budget. In Year One, schools and colleges review proposals put forward by their departments and programs and send priority listings to FP&M. The CPC then selects a limited number of proposals that will be more fully developed for presentation to the CPC during Year Two. Following a semester of presentations, the CPC proposes a ranked list of projects for the first biennium of the six year planning period to the Chancellor. The UW-Madison list must subsequently be integrated by UW System and the Board of Regents into a single ranked proposal made to the State. The State budget, when it is adopted at the end of this process, incorporates a Capital Building Program for the two years of the biennium. Meanwhile, the next two-year cycle begins on campus.

Information about how to propose major projects is included in the Guide for Preparing Capital Budget/Building Requests, prepared by FP&M staff during Year One of the cycle. At the college level, departments and programs initiate the process, ideally no later than the fall semester, by preparing an Issue or Scope Statement to document the need and to communicate the need to FP&M staff and the CPC. This statement provides information about the expected cost and potential source(s) of funds, identifies the issue or problem and describes its impact on the program in question, and suggests known alternative solutions. When L&S Administration has completed its review, a ranked list of L&S proposals is sent to FP&M, usually due April 1. Projects selected by the CPC for further development work with FP&M staff during the summer between Years One and Two to develop a Project Request Document. This document explains and justifies a project in greater detail to the CPC, UW System staff, the Board of Regents, and eventually the State Building Commission, and must be provided for projects designated for inclusion of the first biennium of the six-year planning cycle.

The capital building cycle is long and complicated. While all projects over $500,000 must be enumerated in the State's biennial budget, the elapsed time can be lessened somewhat only if the entire project is funded by gift or grant dollars. Chairs of programs anticipating the need and opportunity for a major project should contact Chris Bruhn.

Keywordsconstruction, renovation, infrastructure, CPC, facilities committee, FP&M   Doc ID21809
OwnerChris B.GroupL&S KB
Created2011-12-16 18:10:32Updated2024-02-12 15:54:50
SitesL&S KB
Feedback  0   0