Capital Planning

General Information

Facilities Planning is the starting point for planning any capital improvement project valued at $100,000 or more. We work closely with Facilities Management's Office of Architecture and Engineering to establish project scope, retain professional consultants, obtain required State approvals and guide capital projects to successful completion. 

Active capital project locations and construction dates may be viewed in the Cone Zone, an interactive, GIS-based map.

Projects cumulatively valued from $100,000 to $999,999 are known as Internal Capital Projects. The College is authorized to approve and manage these projects at Agency level unless otherwise stated below. Projects cumulatively valued at $1,000,000 or more are known as Permanent Improvement Projects or State Capital Projects. State Capital Project approvals fall under the purview of State Government agencies further defined below. In both cases, all technical and financial aspects of capital project management must abide by the rules and regulations set forth under the Office of State Engineer and South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code.



Per the South Carolina Code of Laws 2-47-50, a Permanent Improvement Project or State Capital Project is defined as:

  1. Acquisition of land, regardless of cost, with staff level review of the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, 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 Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, 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 $1,000,000* 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 included.
  5. Capital lease or purchase of a facility acquisition or construction in which the total cost is $1,000,000 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 $1,000,000 or more
  7. New construction of a facility that exceeds a total cost of $500,000

Any permanent improvement project that meets the above definition must become a project, regardless of the source of funds. However, 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.

*Proviso 117.140 authorizes the College to internally approve permanent improvement projects $1M - $2M in cumulative value if the College's Board of Trustees votes to approve said projects in a public session. The College is required to provide a report of projects approved by their governing boards pursuant to this provision to the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, the Joint Bond Review Committee, and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority by September 30th of the current fiscal year.


Approval Process

For capital projects expected to exceed $2M (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 State Fiscal Accountability Authority. The Office of State Engineer (OSE) has purview over most activity involving State-owned facilities under the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code. OSE provides construction procurement procedures, training, approvals, and assistance. Facilities Management's Office of Architecture and Engineering 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.

The acquisition, improvement, expansion, new construction, or lease of land and buildings is governed by the South Carolina Code of Laws, which includes review and approval by the entities below. The College works with staff from each entity to facilitate the approval process in accordance with promulgated procedures, policies, regulations, and laws.

  • Commission on Higher Education: CHE is responsible for reviewing the programmatic needs for the requested project or lease. The Commission also reviews the proposed funding source(s). Comprised of 14 members, representation includes the six Congressional districts, Governor appointees for each sector (research, teaching, technical), four at-large Governor appointees, and one appointee from a private institution (without vote). The Chair is appointed, at-large, by the Governor. The Commission reviews projects and leases recommended by staff and the Committee on Finance and Facilities.
  • Joint Bond Review Committee: JBRC studies and monitors policies and procedures relating to the approval of permanent improvement projects and to the issuance of state general obligation and institutional bonds. The purpose is to evaluate the effect of current and past policies on the bond credit rating of the State and provide advisory assistance in the establishment of future capital management policies. The Committee is comprised of 10 legislative members: two Senate members, three Senate Finance Committee members (appointed by the Chair), two House of Representatives members, two House Ways & Means Committee members (appointed by the Chair).
  • State Fiscal Accountability Authority: SFAA provides fiscal oversight for the State of South Carolina to meet the needs of the public sector by delivering quality, cost-effective insurance, procurement and engineering services. SFAA was established by the Restructuring Act of 2014, Act 121, and effective July 1, 2015. The Authority encompasses the Insurance Reserve Fund (IRF) and the Division of Procurement Services (DPS), both of which were transferred from the former South Carolina Budget and Control Board. SFAA is comprised of five members: the Governor (Authority Chair), State Treasurer, State Comptroller General, Senate Finance Committee Chair, and the House Ways & Means Committee Chair.


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