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Capital Projects

The Office of State Engineer (OSE) has purview over most activity involving State-owned facilities under the South Carolina Procurement Code. OSE provides construction procurement procedures, training, approvals, and assistance.

Per S.C. Code of Laws 2-47-50, a permanent improvement project (also known as a "capital project") is defined as:

(1) acquisition of land, regardless of cost, with staff level review of the committee and the Budget and Control Board, Capital Budget Office, up to $250,000;

(2) acquisition, as opposed to the construction, of buildings or other structures, regardless of cost, with staff level review of the committee and the Budget and Control Board, Capital Budget Office, up to $250,000;

(3) work on existing facilities for any given project including their renovation, repair, maintenance, alteration, or demolition in those instances in which the total cost of all work involved is $1M or more;

(4) architectural and engineering and other types of planning and design work, regardless of cost, which is intended to result in a permanent improvement project. Master plans and feasibility studies are not permanent improvement projects and are not to be included;

(5) capital lease purchase of a facility acquisition or construction in which the total cost is $1M or more;

(6) equipment that either becomes a permanent fixture of a facility or does not become permanent but is included in the construction contract shall be included as a part of a project in which the total cost is 1M or more; and

(7) new construction of a facility that exceeds a total cost of $500,000.

**An institution of higher learning that has been authorized or appropriated capital improvement bond funds, capital reserve funds or state appropriated funds, or state infrastructure bond funds by the General Assembly for capital improvements shall process a permanent improvement project, regardless of the amount.

For capital projects expected to exceed $1M (or $500,000 for new construction), a two-phase process is required. Phase I is the design phase, in which the College works with an architect to develop schematics and a cost estimate. Once completed, Phase II approval is for the execution of the proposed construction. Both phases must be approved by the Commission on Higher Education, Joint Bond Review Committee, and the Budget & Control Board. College project management works closely with OSE staff throughout the process to ensure buildings codes and regulations are adhered to as well as procurement laws. The approval process can take 8 to 12 months.