University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services

Overview

The Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services has undergone many changes in responsibilities and department title throughout the years. The main priority has not changed which is to participate in the development of the built environment of the three campuses at Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.

Department Established

In 1890, James McLaren White was retained as an Architecture instructor. In 1907, the Office of the Supervising Architect was established and James White was appointed Supervising Architect of the University of Illinois. (At that same time, there was a Superintendent of Buildings and a Superintendent of Grounds.)

Department Evolution

In 1933, the Chief Clerk in the Supervising Architect’s Office, was appointed as Acting Director of the Buildings and Grounds Operation. The Supervising Architect’s Office was in charge of the Physical Plant Operation and Maintenance of the University. In 1934, the name of the Supervising Architect’s Office was changed to the Physical Plant Department in charge of both the Urbana and Chicago campuses. In 1943, within the Physical Plant Department were: the Architectural and Engineering Division, Buildings and Grounds Operation and Maintenance, the Illini Union, Chicago functions, Accounting, and Residence Halls.

The staff of the Architectural and Engineering Division retained the responsibility for the administration of all phases of the building projects, including the design, working drawings, construction supervision, and budget. Further, the Architectural and Engineering Division continued to provide all architectural and engineering services in connection with remodeling projects. This arrangement permitted the University to retain control over design compatibility, uniformity of standards, assurance that subsequent construction corresponded with the plans and specifications, and proper budget controls.

In 1966, the Board of Trustees established a chancellorship system for the Urbana and Chicago campuses; and in September 1967, the responsibilities of the Operation and Maintenance Division and the Auxiliary Services Division of the Physical Plant Department were transferred to the Chancellors of each campus. At that time, the name of the Physical Plant Department, which included the Architectural and Campus Planning Divisions, was changed to the University Office of Physical Plant Planning and Construction.

Beginning in 1971, due to the severe reduction in state appropriations for capital improvements, there was a major reduction in staff within the University Office of Physical Plant Planning and Construction. The staff was reduced from 69 employees to 26 who continued to carry out the responsibilities relating to capital improvements to the University.

In 1972, the University Office of Physical Plant Planning and Construction was renamed the University Office for Capital Programs (UOCP) and was a part of the Office for Financial Affairs, reporting directly to the Vice President for Financial Affairs. The mission of the office included campus and University functions for physical planning, construction of new buildings and additions to existing buildings, landscape and site development related to those projects, monitoring equal employment opportunities for construction, land acquisition, and the establishment and evaluation of appropriate standards of service, operation, and maintenance in consultation with chancellors and campus directors for the Chicago and Urbana campuses. Its staff consisted of architects, engineers, landscape architects, accountants, and real estate professionals.

In 1993, the University Office for Capital Programs was organized into two separate offices; one at Urbana and one at Chicago, with a director at each office reporting directly to the Associate Vice President for Administration and Human Resources. In 1995, the Urbana office also included responsibilities for the newly acquired Springfield campus (formerly Sangamon State University).

In September 1997, organizational changes took effect to maintain the strategic responsibilities of the University Office for Capital Programs at all three campuses (Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana) while delegating the operational management of capital construction to each of the campus units. The University Office for Capital Programs was organized into a single office for capital strategic planning and oversight, managed by an Assistant Vice President reporting to the Associate Vice President for Administration and Human Resources. The office consists of administrative, professional, and technical staff; makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees on all such matters; and serves as consultant to University and campus administrators.

Effective September 2003 the office’s name was changed to the University Office for Facilities Planning and Programs. Restructuring changes including adding oversight of the University’s utility systems to the former Capital Programs Office’s responsibilities. The office reports to the Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning and Programs.

Current Status

The office was modified in late 2007 when Utilities Management became a separate department. In summer 2008, there was a restructuring and Real Estate Services was incorporated in the department and the name was changed to the Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services. The office now reports to the Associate Vice President for Capital Programs and Real Estate Services.

Announcements

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