The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) currently provides for the orderly development of the institutionís physical facilities with two planning documents: the Capital Improvement Program, which consists of the Capital Improvement Plan and the Annual Capital Budget, is required for all components of The University of Texas System (UT) (1), and the Campus Master Plan, which is required of all higher education institutions in Texas by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) (2). The Campus Master Plan is updated annually; the Capital Improvement Program is updated biennially.
The Capital Improvement Plan is a six-year projection of component and system-wide revenues and projects that will be funded from these revenues. Projects included in the Capital Improvement Plan correspond to the highest priority needs identified in the long-range strategic planning process and institutional capital renewal plans. The Annual Capital Budget is composed of major construction projects, renovation and repairs, and library and equipment purchases for the fiscal year at UT System component institutions. Projected cash flow requirements from all funding sources for new and ongoing projects are also included.
Among the general policies of the Capital Improvement Program are the following:
Each institution will give first priority to maintaining the quality of ongoing programs and to preventing the deterioration of the physical assets, buildings, equipment, and libraries that support them. The support of new programs normally will receive lower priority than the elimination of major deficiencies in the support of ongoing programs.
The allocation of building space among programs and activities on a campus will be reviewed periodically and reassignments made as appropriate. Capital improvement funds may be used to remodel space in order to facilitate such reallocation.
Each institution will develop and maintain a long-range Capital Renewal Plan based upon an assessment of the current conditions of each building and upon the normal useful life of those components (e.g., roofs. HVAC, electrical).
The UT System Board of Regents approves the Capital Improvement Program and authorizes the component institutions to proceed with development of formal Project Building Program documents.
Information submitted for the Campus Master Plan includes the role and scope of the institution and an existing site plan, proposed land use plan, facilities inventory and utilization of existing facilities, and an action plan. The role and scope section includes an analysis of degrees awarded and enrollment for the preceding five years and projected enrollment and program inventory changes expected in the next five years. The proposed land use plan indicates the location of any proposed changes or improvements to be made within the next five years. The action plan includes a listing, in order of highest priority of need, of new construction projects, repair and rehabilitation projects and land acquisitions that are projected during the next five years. It also includes a listing of deferred maintenance projects that are identified as either critical or non-critical. An inventory of existing facilities is available on-line through the THECB website (3) and an assessment of deferred maintenance and demolition needs and deferred maintenance expenditures is filed annually by each institution (4).
Priorities for both the Capital Improvement Program and the Campus Master Plan are generated by the Office of Facilities Planning with recommendations, review, and approval from the department chairmen, campus executives, University of Texas System Offices, Board of Regents, and THECB. The Office of Facilities Planning assists the top campus executives in the integration of campus facilities planning into the strategic initiatives of the university. In addition, the Office of Facilities Planning coordinates campus facilities planning with program and fiscal planning and fulfills the campus planning requirements of The University of Texas System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
A student satisfaction survey of facilities and related services utilized by a majority of the student body shows an overall favorable response in terms of staff professionalism and meeting student needs for the field house, grounds, bookstore, police department, and safety and security, with slightly less approval for the parking office. In general, adequacy of parking is a major concern among the students interviewed (although most found parking costs reasonable) and the dormitories only received a positive response from a third of those interviewed. Comments regarding the Jamail Student Centerís need for upgrading, better lighting and soundproofing, more comfortable couches and chairs, improved air conditioning, and furniture cleanliness are being addressed by the Office of Student Life and alternatives will be discussed by the Student Center Advisory Group at their next meeting in October (5).