Understanding Capital Development

Governments and universities need buildings in order to function, and the acquisition, construction, and maintenance of these buildings is a large part of the state’s budget.  These expenses are overseen by the General Assembly’s Capital Development Committee.  Each year this powerful committee puts together a prioritized list of construction and maintenance projects for state-owned buildings across Colorado.  In budget terms, these projects are generally referred to as capital construction, which refers to “the purchase of land or equipment, or the construction or renovation of facilities” while controlled maintenance refers to “the repair or replacement of capital assets or equipment, such as a roof or fire alarm system at a state-owned, state-supported facility.”

The above definitions come from the Colorado Legislative Council’s publication Capital Construction and the Role of the Capital Development Committee, part of their “Issue Brief” series.  This handy publication not only defines these budget processes but also explains the Committee’s role and presents some basic financial data.  For further explanation and data, search our library’s online catalog where you will find the Committee’s annual reports back to 2002; earlier iterations of the aforementioned Issue Brief; recommendations for legislation; audit reports; budget requests; and a number of reports that specifically discuss capital construction at state-owned higher education campuses.

Amy Zimmer
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