Space Allocation and Renovation Policy
EFFECTIVE DATE: September 10, 2015
RESPONSIBLE OFFICER: Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer (COO)
This policy provides guidelines for the allocation and transfer of space under Responsibility Center Management (RCM), the process of requesting new space, either in Drexel-owned properties or off-campus leased space and the process of requesting renovations to existing space.
This policy applies to administrators, faculty and professional staff. Recognized student organizations are eligible to apply for, receive assignment to and occupy an office in the Creese Student Center or MacAlister Hall via the procedures outlined in Section 8 of the Office of Campus Activities’ Policies and Procedures Manual. Student organizations seeking other types of space must follow the procedures outlined in this policy through the dean of their host college/school.
Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of University Facilities Planning and Design.
The Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer is the Drexel University official responsible for administration of this policy.
Responsibility Center Management (RCM): A model of budgeting under which Drexel’s revenue-generating units are wholly responsible for managing their own revenues and expenditures. For a complete overview of Responsibility Center Management at Drexel University, including all associated definitions, please visit the RCM website.
Net Assignable Square Foot (NASF): The sum of all areas on all floors of a building assigned to, or available for assignment to, an occupant or specific use. Under RCM, a cost will be attached to each NASF of space at the University. During renovations to buildings, occupants may need to vacate temporarily and reside in temporary swing space. The NASF of such space will be fixed during the temporary relocation based on the NASF of the space occupied prior to the renovations. In other words, units will be charged for the space they occupied prior to the renovations and will not be charged for the swing space they then occupy. When the occupants return to the renovated space, the NASF will be adjusted based on the square feet of the renovated space. Units that occupy the swing space for a period of one year or longer after the completion of the renovated space will be charged for the swing space accordingly.
Capital Asset Allocation Committee (CAAC): Governs the allocation and brokerage of space across the University and oversees the ongoing maintenance fund and the allocation of its resources to fund improvements. Discusses and vets all decisions related to capital planning, projects, expenditures and requisite funding. The committee’s organizational structure is summarized on the RCM website.
Space Allocation Committee (SAC): Reviews and vets all university space requests submitted via the processes outlined in this Space Allocation and Renovation Policy and makes recommendations to CAAC for action. The SAC is made up of representatives from the Office of the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and COO, the Office of the Provost, University Facilities and one dean and one Faculty Senate representative.
Project-Level Renovations: Improvements to existing space that require multiple trades (e.g., carpenters and electricians), have a total dollar value over $25,000, involve systems furniture installation, affect code requirements, and/or require professional design services are considered project-level renovations and are subject to this policy, including SAC and CAAC review. (For University-owned facilities, maintenance requests and most other work that does not meet any of these criteria can be accomplished by submitting a Work Order on the University Facilities website.)
Space and Renovation Request Form: Official form that must be filled out by a unit requesting new space, a space change or renovation to existing space, with signature of approval from the dean/senior vice president (SVP)/executive vice president (EVP) of the requesting unit. All changes/reassignments of space involving 2,000 square feet or more and/or a project cost of $25,000 or more (the “2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold”) must be submitted via this form. The 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold does not apply to spaces in the Main Building, which must always be vetted through the process described in this policy. In special circumstances, units can request an expedited process from the CAAC chair with approval from the two executive vice presidents. Click here for the Space and Renovation Request Form [PDF].
Space Transfer: A transfer of space between units above the 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold. Space transfers of this size require CAAC approval through the process described in this policy.
UFPD: University Facilities Planning and Design.
Unit: As applicable, a college, school or department.
Under RCM, a cost will be attached to each NASF of space. It is anticipated that some units may want to consider relinquishing space, while others may want to consider adding/acquiring new space. Under the governance of the CAAC and the SAC, UFPD serves as the brokerage house for units wishing to give up or acquire space and manages the process for approving and executing project-level renovations. CAAC has the ultimate authority in governing the use of all University-controlled space, and decisions on whether and how to fulfill individual space and renovation requests will be based on the institutional priorities outlined in the University’s mission and strategic plan. Units are not permitted to work outside of these procedures and directly pursue the acquisition or transfer of space – whether University-owned or leased -- on their own.
This policy governs the following types of space- and renovation-related requests:
1. Request to Acquire New/Additional Space
All requests for new space must be submitted to UFPD via the Drexel University Space and Renovation Request Form [PDF]. Requests will NOT be acknowledged if submitted in a format other than the Space and Renovation Request Form. While any individual within a unit may originate a request for new space, the requestor must receive signed approval from the following before submitting the form:
- Academic units: the dean of that unit; or
- Administrative units: the department head and senior vice president (SVP)/executive vice president (EVP) of that unit
Requests will be processed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Request for New/Additional Space Workflow Table [PDF].
2. Changes/Reassignment of Space
All changes of space above the 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold must be submitted to UFPD via the Drexel University Space and Renovation Request Form [PDF]. In exceptional circumstances when space decisions must be made on an accelerated timeline, a unit may undertake a change/reassignment of space over the 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold with approval from the CAAC chair and two executive vice presidents. The 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold does not apply to changes of space in the Main Building; due to the iconic nature of the building and the University’s desire to preserve its use for honorific offices and student-facing functions, all changes of space within the Main Building must be submitted via the Space and Renovation Request Form.
While any individual within a unit may originate a request for a change of space, the requestor must receive signed approval from the dean/SVP/EVP of their unit before submitting the form.
- Initial Giveback Period: Upon the implementation of RCM, units are permitted to return space to the University within a due diligence period in alignment with the FY2017 budgeting process (July 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016). During the initial giveback period, units may not relinquish financial responsibility of space, unless granted permission in writing from the CAAC.
- Reassignment of Space: There are three ways in which re-assignment of space may occur:
- Units will be able to give up space in alignment with the budgeting process and receive financial relief (contingent upon CAAC approval) if there is another unit willing to acquire the space and CAAC approves the acquisition. Upon CAAC approval, expenses will shift from one unit to the other. This transfer of expenses will be negotiated and processed at the business administrator level; the current facilities allocation for the space will not be modified.
- Units will be able to give up “usable” space (space that can actually be used by another unit) when there are no units identified to acquire the space, subject to SAC approval. In these cases, the unit would receive reduced NASF costs in the following fiscal year. Unassigned space changes must be submitted to SAC by Jan. 31 for cost reduction consideration for the following year. All costs for unassigned space will be absorbed by all units within the college through the NASF rate, as the cost to maintain that space remains the same.
- In the event the University must obtain space from units for the purposes of temporary “swing” space (space needed to accommodate construction projects), or other strategic University priorities, the unit providing the space would receive a reduced NASF costs for that period of time.
3. Space Transfers Between Units
Except for transfers involving the Main Building, units may transfer space under the 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold between themselves, without bringing a request to the SAC/CAAC. For proposed transfers above the 2,000 SF/$25,000 threshold, as well as all transfers involving the Main Building, the initiating unit (whether seeking to acquire or divest space) must submit a Space and Renovation Request Form for potential matches before approaching other units to propose a space transfer. All transfers of space are subject to potential review in the future by SAC/CAAC. Space Transfers will be processed in accordance with the Procedures for Space Transfers Between Units [PDF].
4. Off-Campus Real Estate Leasing
Individuals may not lease space in the name of the University or for any University related purpose without submitting a request via the Drexel University Space and Renovation Request Form. All leases, except those in properties owned by Academic Properties, Inc., will be processed in accordance with the Off-Campus Real Estate Leasing Workflow Table [PDF]. The Office of Lease Management (OLM) is responsible for the review, analysis and negotiation of all leased space requests, and in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), the review and recommendation for approval of all lease agreements. As used in this policy, the term “lease” includes, without limitation, amendments to existing leases, subleases of space, assignments of leases, license agreements and any other types of occupancy agreements. Additionally, subleasing to, and/or use and/or occupancy by, non-Drexel employees at the leased premises is not permitted unless approved by OLM and, if required, the landlord of the leased premises. Any communications with a landlord of leased spaced must be made through OLM.
Only lease-related expenses that are set forth within the lease document can/will be charged to the fund and organization number that is provided. All other charges are the responsibility of the unit; this will vary depending on the terms of the lease. Requesting unit is responsible for sending to OLM any notices received from the landlord and for keeping OLM apprised of any defaults and breaches by any party under the lease.
5. Project-level Renovations
Improvements to existing space that meet the definition of “project-level renovations” described in this policy are subject to the procedures outlined in this policy, including SAC and CAAC review. All requests for project-level renovations to existing space must be submitted via the Space and Renovation Request Form [PDF]. Requests will be processed in accordance with the Project-Level Renovations Workflow Table [PDF]. Proposed project-level renovations cannot move forward without signed approval from the dean/SVP/EVP of the requesting unit, approval by CAAC and confirmation of available funds. The University establishes an annual budget for capital projects, and only proposals using designated funds can be considered outside this annual funding cap. However, all proposed capital projects (regardless of funding source) require approval from the Office of the Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and COO. All project-level renovations requiring contractual agreements with third-party providers of goods and services must adhere to all other University policies, including, without limitation, the Purchasing Policy and the Contract Protocol Policy (OGC-2).