Architectural & Engineering FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What defines a capital project?

Any construction, alteration, repair, improvement, moving wrecking or demolition of a building, structure, project, development or improvement.

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2) What type of projects should go to AES?

a) Any facility work that changes the functional use of the space must have the plan approved by AES Department prior to changes being made to UCO property.

b) Functional use of space includes: cosmetic, remodel, renovation, demolition, or new construction.

c) Construction and installation of signage or other exterior appurtenances, temporary exterior stage sets, etc. must be coordinated through AES.

d) Any construction project which requires modification to space that requires new or relocated electrical outlets, data, cable, installation of AV systems or other changes requiring modifications to air distribution systems or lighting systems and switches must be reviewed and approved by AES.

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3) What type of projects are Departments allowed to do?

a) Departments or employees are not allowed to perform any type of remodeling, construction of stages, or installation of signage or other appurtenances without the approval of AES.

b) Change of functional use of space (for example, changing a classroom into a computer lab) requires review and approval of AES.

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4) What is RUSO?

RUSO is the Governing Board of Regents for the University of Central Oklahoma.

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5) What does the acronym RUSO mean?

a) Regional University System of Oklahoma

b) They govern UCO and

           i) Southwestern Oklahoma State University

          ii) Southeastern Oklahoma State University

         iii) Northwestern Oklahoma State University

         iv) Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

          v) East Central University

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6) Why do we have to send our capital projects to RUSO for approval?

It is State Law.

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7) Is there a dollar amount threshold that makes a capital project to be approved through RUSO?

Yes, if a capital project is $50K or more, it must go to RUSO for approval prior to any work proceeding.

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8) If a project is under $50K, what happens?

a) AES must review the project scope of work, identify the various project needs and institutional requirements and do preliminary scope of work.

b) Projects under $50K require UCO Administrative approvals on the required forms. These forms are on the AES website:

         i) Consult Request Form

         ii) Work Request Form

c) If the cost of a capital project is between $1.00 and $49,999, UCO can move forward in transferring funds and setting up construction accounts without RUSO approval. Please refer to question 13 for the process.

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9) When does RUSO meet?

RUSO generally meets 7 times a year. These are published at the beginning of each calendar year and may change.

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10) If our project will be over $50K how long will it take to get approval?

If your project is over $50K, it could take as much as 4-6 months for the approval process from UCO administration and from RUSO. (See question 14)

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11) Why does it take so long for the approval process?

a) Timing is extremely important since RUSO does not meet monthly. Example: If RUSO were to meet on November 15, 2014, items needing to be presented for approval at the meeting need to be presented for approval at the meeting need compiled five weeks or more from the meeting date in order to be prepared and submitted for review to the Executive Vice President and then the President for review and approval. Only after their approval can items be sent on as agenda items to the RUSO.

b) Architectural and Engineering Services must have prior knowledge of your upcoming project with the proper reviewed and approved documents.

c) AES might have your information prior to the next scheduled RUSO meeting, but due to the time of the submittal of agenda items to RUSO, it may miss the next meeting and have to wait for the next meeting.

d) It takes up to a month after the RUSO meeting to receive your official project approval.

e) When official approval is received, Facilities Business Operations begins the process of setting up your project.

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12) Is there an optimum time to submit a request for projects in excess of $50,000?

Yes, the best time to submit requests for projects in excess of $50,000 is in November of each Fiscal Year.

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13) What is the procedure for setting up a capital project under $50K?

a) Prepare and submit a Consult Request Form from the AES website.

b) AES will review the request, set up a time to meet with the department/Unit involved and provide an initial cost estimate after all appropriate UCO units have had the opportunity to review the proposed scope of work, costs and other implications.

c) After completion of the initial review, AES will provide the requesting Department/Unit a report of the scope of work requested and an initial cost estimate.

d) After Department/Unit approval of the final defined scope of work, the Department/Unit is to prepare and submit a Work Request Form from the AES website.

e) After receipt of the approved Work Request Form, AES will meet with Department/Units involved and other UCO units to again review the defined scope of work and to further analyze the project scope and costs.

f) Director or AES notifies the Director of Facilities Business Operations to proceed in setting up the capital project.

g) The Director of Facilities Management Operations contacts the requesting department by email and requests the ORG(s) to be used for funding the capital project.

h) When the funding source is received from the department requesting the project, Facilities Business Operations initiates the Work Request Form and submits it to Accounting for a capital project setup.

i) Accounting sets up the capital project and assigns a “C” number for capital project tracking the identification purposes.

j) Once the “C” number is assigned and funding moved into the project, Facilities Business Operations is able to proceed in the creating requisitions for the project.

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14) What is the procedure for setting up a capital project over $50K?

a) Prepare and submit a Consult Request Form from the AES website.

b) AES will review the request, set up a time to meet with the Department/Unit involved and provide an initial cost estimate after all appropriate UCO units have had the opportunity to review the proposed scope of work, costs and other implications.

c) After completion of the initial review, AES will provide the requesting Department/Unit a report of the scope of work requested and an initial cost estimate.

d) After Department/Unit approval of the final defined scope of work, the Department/Unit is to prepare and submit a Work Request Form from the AES website.

e) After receipt of the approved Work Request Form, AES will meet with Department/Units involved and other UCO units to again review the defined scope of work and to further analyze the project scope and costs.

f) AES will then prepare appropriate agenda items for administrative review and approval and upon approval.

g) AES will prepare and submit agenda items to RUSO for appropriate actions, approvals and authorities for use of funds.

h) Upon receipt of approval, the Director of Facilities Management Operations contacts the requesting department by email and requests the ORG(s) to be used for funding the capital project.

i) When the funding source is received from the department requesting the project, Facilities Business Operations initiates the Work Request Form and submits it to Accounting for a capital project setup.

j) Accounting sets up the capital project and assigns a “C” number for capital project tracking the identification purposes.

k) Once the “C” number is assigned and funding moved into the project, Facilities Business Operations is able to proceed in the creating requisitions for the project.

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15) Once the Capital Project is established, who is the Financial Manager of the project?

The Director of Architectural & Engineering Services

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16) Why is the Director of AES responsible for my project and funds?

The Director understands the complexity of design, build, code compliance and completion. He had the knowledge as to whether the work has been completed satisfactorily and if invoices can be approved and processed for payment.

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17) Who does the requisitions for the capital project?

Facilities Business Operations

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18) Why?

Facilities Business Operations works closely and in tandem with AES and Purchasing on the bidding and award of the contract.

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19) What if there are changes on the original scope of the project?

a) As the project goes from a Consult Request to a Work Request, scope of work changes will become additional cost items and will require approvals from the Requesting Department/Unit and the administration.

b) If the scope of work requests is more than allowed by State Statutes or if they exceed the RUSO authority limits, the project will have to be cancelled and re-started with new approvals, funding and limits.

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20) If there is a change of scope on the project, what happens?

If the scope changes are minor in nature and fall within the State Statutory limits, they will be reviewed by the administration and if approved, a Change Order will be issued to increase the project budget. If adequate funding is not available in the construction organization, additional funding must be requested from the Department/Unit.  

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21) What if the project needs more funding?

If the project scope has changed and additional funding is required to move forward, Facilities Business Operations will contact the department via email to request additional funding.

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22) What happens if the change of scope reduces the total cost of the project?

If the project is reduced and subsequently the amount needed is reduced, the remaining balance of the funding will be returned to the originating Department/Unit/Org when the project is complete and closed.

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23) What happens to the remaining funds after the project is closed?

Once the project manager has said the project is complete, the funds are returned to the originating funding source.

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24) Who keeps track of the expenditures and encumbrances of our project?

Facilities Business Operations keeps track of all Capital Projects. A weekly reconciliation is done on each project showing all expenditures, encumbrances and funding.

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