Facilities Planning and Construction realigns to meet NU-system needs

· 3 min read

Facilities Planning and Construction realigns to meet NU-system needs

Construction continues on UNL's new CBA building at 14th and Vine streets.
File photo | University Communication
A Budget Response Team proposal has realigned facilities planning and construction services into a single source for all University of Nebraska campuses.

Facilities planning and construction units at Lincoln, Kearney and Omaha campuses have been folded into a new systemwide University of Nebraska facilities organization.

The realignment is part of the recommendations made by Nebraska’s Budget Response Teams, university wide groups charged with identifying cost savings to help address budget shortfalls resulting from cuts in state funding and increasing costs.

“This is a real opportunity for the university system to gain efficiencies and save money overall,” said Mark Miller, assistant vice chancellor for facilities planning and construction. “It will help us leverage existing expertise, no matter the location, to better meet the needs of campus clients.”

The NU Facilities Planning and Construction unit offers full project support services through capital construction, minor construction, engineering, project controls and the university code official/fire marshal for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and other university facilities statewide.

Under the new structure, no state funds will be used to provide project management services. Instead, fees for project management will be part of the project and based on a percentage of the estimated total project cost. Fees range from 4.75 percent (for projects up to $499,000) with a sliding scale down to 1 percent (for projects greater than $200 million). This sliding fee structure was based on a previous study conducted by Big Ten facilities directors.

Fees for building permits, design, planning and studies will be charged as applicable for each individual project.

Campus support services continue to be offered without charge. These services include project initial cost estimates; maintenance of facility records; Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping; design guidelines; facilities conditions assessments; general code inquiries; and faculty support and collaboration.

Miller will also oversee the NU facilities team, reporting to Central Administration and campus leadership.

Other NU facilities leadership and areas Miller will oversee include: John Amend, physical planning and real estate; Jim Jackson, maintenance and operations; and Lalit Agarwal, utilities and energy. The alignment includes the addition of a university architect, a role filled by Alan Wedige of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Current major construction projects that fall under this new alignment include Phase One upgrades to engineering facilities and the replacement of Mabel Lee Hall; renovations of Arts and Sciences Hall and the Strauss Performing Arts Center at UNO; and the new early childhood education center and state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and math facility at UNK.

As part of the transition, facilities planning and construction staff on all three campuses will adopt nebraska.edu email addresses at the end of November.

Learn more about the new systemwide University of Nebraska facilities organization.

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