Submit a Capital Project Request

A project request is intended for new construction and renovations; feasibility studies for any upgrade to a building system/utility or a space; and requests for reconfiguration, expansion or an entirely new space.

A new project request can be initiated by a school, department, institute, center or by the Central University. Please note that your department will be responsible for costs related to any initial feasibility studies necessary to determine the scope and preliminary budget of a proposed project. A project funding source must be identified as part of the project request.

Questions about the form? Need help completing the project initiation request? Contact us.

Information to Know

Depending on the project cost, it will follow one of the schedules below. The approval process for projects is determined largely by the total estimated project cost.

Projects Under $50,000

Since the University's capital threshold is $50,000, projects that cost less than this amount will be expensed upfront through a transfer from your department's chart string. After the project is completed, Capital Project Management and Manhattanville Development Group will provide you with a reconciliation summary and transfer any remaining balance back to the department.

Projects $50,000 to $249,000

These projects are approved by a funding memo prepared by Capital Project Management or Manhattanville Development Group and signed by an authorized department representative. Upon approval, we'll establish a chart string for the project, and your department will be charged the authorized funds in advance. These projects can be approved at any time once the funding memo has been signed and funds secured. No work or design efforts will begin unless 100 percent of the budget is transferred.

Projects Over $250,000

The approval process for these projects consists of three phases and is contingent on the approval schedule of the Business Issues (BISS) Committee of the Trustees. BISS approvals for projects costing $250,000-1,999,999 take place on a monthly basis. Project requests that exceed $2 million follow a two-step process: after BISS approval, the request is reviewed and approved by the Trustees of Columbia University. Trustees' approvals take place on a quarterly basis.

Capital Project Management and Manhattanville Development Group are responsible for preparing and presenting the project document for the approval of projects over $250,000.

Project documents include the following categories:

  1. Statement of purpose and need
  2. Project scope
  3. Project budget
  4. Project financing
  5. Maintenance and project costs
  6. Energy considerations
  7. Sustainability
  8. Safety and  Security
  9. Consideration for the disabled
  10. Mode of accomplishment
  11. Certificate of occupancy
  12. Project schedule

The project financing section must identify a source of funding for your project's total estimated cost, including a reasonable contingency amount. Before a project document can be submitted for approval, all funding must be in a University account and available to be transferred to the project.

The project document includes a signature page that requires the electronic signature of the respective dean or designee.