Prioritization of new building requests for both state agencies and higher education institutions starts long before a General Session begins. Lists of ranked building project requests are created by both the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) and the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) for consideration by the Governor and the Legislature during a legislative session.
First, state agencies submit capital development project requests and feasibility studies to DFCM for its review and prioritization (a process defined in administrative rule). DFCM does not prioritize building requests for buildings financed with restricted funds like revenue bonds or fees and fines.
Meanwhile, higher education institutions submit building requests to the SBHE for prioritization and approval. The list proposed by SBHE is divided into ‘Dedicated Projects,’ ‘Non-Dedicated Projects,’ and ‘Land Banks.’ Dedicated Projects are those that the institution can fund within ongoing appropriations to the Higher Education and Technical Colleges Capital Projects Funds, while Non-Dedicated Projects require additional funding from the Legislature. Land Banks are parcels of land that a state agency or institution of higher education would like to purchase for a future purpose. If a state agency or an institution of higher education purchases land as a land bank, it must later receive approval from the Legislature for any capital development project on that land.
Like state agencies, SBHE is required under UCA 63A-5b-403 to submit its approved list to DFCM. The division makes recommendations to the Legislature for Dedicated Projects, and weighs in on the priorities for SBHE’s Non-Dedicated project list.
Both DFCM and SBHE submit their lists of priorities to the Legislature for consideration. These requests are typically presented in the Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. The subcommittee advances the lists, revised to reflect their legislative priorities, to the Executive Appropriations Committee for consideration. Finally, the refined selection of capital development projects is subject to a final vote by the Legislature as a whole.
2022 Building Projects
During the 2022 General Session, the Legislature appropriated $344.9 million one-time from the Income Tax Fund for the following higher education capital development (building) projects:
- Davis Technical College – Campus Renovations ($20.4 million)
- Mountainland Technical College – Payson Campus Building ($47.9 million);
- Southern Utah University – Music Center Renovation ($19.5 million);
- Southern Utah University – Flood Repair and Prevention ($9.2 million);
- Tooele Technical College – Campus Building Expansion ($24.7 million);
- University of Utah School of Medicine ($60.0 million);
- Utah Tech University – General Classroom Building ($56.1 million);
- Utah Valley University – Engineering Building ($80.0 million); and
- Weber State David O. McKay Education Building Renovation ($27.1 million).
Additionally, the Legislature appropriated $5.0 million one-time federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for Utah State University – Monument Valley.
The Legislature also funded a number of projects for state agencies, appropriating $167.6 million one-time from the General Fund for the following:
- Capitol Hill North Building Rebuild ($68.0 million);
- Fleet, Surplus, and DFCM Relocation ($8.9 million);
- Forestry, Fire, and Land Lone Peak Facility Relocation ($16.6 million);
- Salt Lake Veterans Nursing Home Replacement ($21.3 million);
- Sixth District Court – Manti Courthouse ($14.2 million); and
- Utah State Development Center Comprehensive Therapy Building ($38.6 million).
Due to inflation concerns, the Legislature also included intent language in Items 226 and 227 of House Bill 2 that directed the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) to delay project certain implementation, not using appropriated funds for the following projects until March 1, 2023:
- Utah Valley University – Engineering Building;
- Utah Tech University – General Classroom Building;
- Southern Utah University – Music Center Renovation;
- Utah State Development Center Comprehensive Therapy Building; and
- Sixth District Court – Manti Courthouse.
The intent language also directed DFCM to submit a detailed plan to the Executive Appropriations Committee by June 1, 2022, for the implementation timing of capital development projects approved. That report was presented to EAC on May 17, 2022. Looking forward to the 2023 General Session, SBHE and DFCM have each approved lists of new projects which will be considered by the Legislature.