Facility Work Categories - Facilities Management & Campus Services - NIU Division of Administration and Finance

Facilities Management & Campus Services

Facility Work Categories and Prioritization

Facility-related work is generally categorized into four basic areas, as indicated below.  The magnitude of the requested work will influence the level of review, prioritization and approval.  A more detailed description of the prioritization process is included below.

Maintenance/Minor Repairs

Initiate a maintenance work request

Definition:

Maintenance/minor repair is the work required to keep buildings or utility systems functioning as originally intended. Keeping existing facilities in proper condition requires services to offset the effects of normal "wear and tear" as well as equipment and materials failure.

Highlights:

  • Addresses maintenance and minor repairs of building/utility systems throughout campus
  • Typically, does not include building furnishings such as furniture, decorations or equipment unless built into the building
  • Performed by Physical Plant workforce and/or outside contractors managed by FMCS staff
  • Includes preventative maintenance and replacement/repair of small, non‐capital items when they reach the end of their useful life
  • Emergencies such as major water leaks, power outages, or significant security/safety issues should be reported immediately to (815)753-1741
  • Minor repairs are generally <$7,500
  • Work is charged based on the type of building being addressed
    • General Revenue buildings: Maintenance budget managed by Physical Plant
    • Auxiliary operation buildings: Maintenance budget managed by individual auxiliary units

Small Discretionary Improvements

Initiate a small discretionary work request

Definition:

Any facility improvement that can be defined as minor/simple in scope and typically costs less than $7,500. Such actions may involve space rearrangements, fixture replacements, or changes to any building systems (walls, power, water, ventilation, etc.) Work may include minor remodeling of an existing space, minor ADA compliance, or repairs that result in a significant upgrade (adds value to the structure versus strict direct replacement).

Highlights:

  • Generally, below capitalization level ($7,500)
  • Typically, does not include building furnishings such as furniture, decorations or equipment unless required to be built into the facility or hard-wired for power
  • Performed by Physical Plant workforce and/or outside contractors managed by FMCS staff
  • Work is typically requestor funded from general revenue, auxiliary, grant, or Foundation donation accounts as may be applicable for the requested work

Large Discretionary Improvements

Initiate a large discretionary improvement request

Definition:

Any significant renovation or remodeling of an existing facility that results in a permanent improvement. Landscape improvements, street and sidewalk renovations, utility modifications or additions, and the purchases of fixed equipment that require modifications to a facility are all considered discretionary improvements. Projects initiated for the purpose of ADA compliance or that necessitate a permanent improvement to maintain or improve the health and safety of the university's students, faculty, staff, and visitors are discretionary improvement projects. All new construction projects are discretionary improvements.

Highlights:

  • Generally, above capitalization level ($7,500)
  • Typically requires deliberate long term approval, budgeting, planning, and design prior to construction
  • Projects are typically funded from centrally budgeted accounts, state programs, donations, or financing arrangements
  • Projects may be requestor funded from general revenue, auxiliary, grant, or Foundation donation accounts as may be applicable for the requested work

Major Repair Projects

Initiate a major repair request

Definition:

Any significant repair of a building system or section of campus infrastructure either by replacement or restoration. The project objective is to generally restore to original capability. Enhancements are only supported if original systems are no longer manufactured or there is a reasonable return on investment (life cycle cost savings or energy conservation savings) for a higher cost option.

Highlights:

  • Above capitalization level ($7,500)
  • Typically, will require longer lead times for deliberate prioritization, approval, budgeting, planning, and design steps prior to construction
  • Projects are typically funded from centrally budgeted accounts, state programs, donations, or financing arrangements
  • Projects may be requestor funded from general revenue, auxiliary, grant, or Foundation donation accounts as may be applicable for the requested work

Facility Work Prioritization Process

The types of work noted above are regularly collected and reviewed for completeness. Maintenance and minor repair requests are assessed based on the following criteria to determine a general prioritization of work for near term execution or backlog deferral. Maintenance and minor repairs take a natural priority over most other types of work due to the need to keep existing buildings and campus infrastructure functioning.

  • Safety hazards presented
  • Criticality of building affected
  • Criticality of building function affected
    • Emergencies: major water leaks, power loss, major security issues, etc.
  • Potential for further property loss
  • Scope coverage by another major project investment

Small discretionary requests are generally supported secondarily to maintenance/minor repairs due to the limited magnitude of the request (~<$7,500) and funding provided by the requestor. If the requested work is technically acceptable and there are no significant cash flow concerns expressed by Finance & Budget, this work will be executed as maintenance/minor repair priorities allow.

Large discretionary and major repair projects will be similarly prioritized based on criteria such as the following and reviewed regularly by the Project Prioritization Forum.

  • Life/health/safety issues
  • Mission impact/alignment
  • Property loss
  • Return on investment
  • Risk mitigation
  • Type of funds

The Project Prioritization Forum contains representatives from the following areas: Provost, Athletics, Finance & Budget, Division of Information Technology, Student Affairs/Enrollment Management, Outreach, Research Innovation & Partnerships, and Facilities Management/Campus Services. These representatives deliberate over the project priorities according to four project categories:

  • Major repair projects: Prioritization based on the amount of funds the university makes available for facility/infrastructure repair investments.
  • General revenue centrally funded discretionary projects: Prioritization based on the amount of funds the university makes available for buildings supporting general revenue operations.
  • Auxiliary revenue centrally funded discretionary projects: Prioritization based on the amount of funds the university auxiliary operations make available for enhancement investments.
  • Requester-funded discretionary projects: Since funding in this category is typically earmarked for each project (i.e. grants, specific auxiliary operations, etc.), Forum representatives review projects more for awareness and mission importance rather than prioritization.

Recommendations from this Forum are presented to appropriate approval levels based on availability of funds. Projects reviewed by the Forum are generally larger investments which require deliberate planning and design efforts spanning multiple years. These longer term projects are managed in a 5-year investment plan and used to forecast budgeting requirements and work sequencing.

Project approval levels:

  • <$25K (maintenance/repair efforts): AVP Facilities Management & Campus Services
  • <$25K (all other investments): VP Administration & Finance
  • >$25K (all requirements): President
  • >$250K (all requirements): Board of Trustees
  • >$2M (all requirements): Illinois Board of Higher Education