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Comprehensive Standard 3.11.3

The institution operates and maintains physical facilities, both on and off campus, that appropriately serve the needs of the institution’s educational programs, support services, and other mission-related activities. (Physical facilities) 

Judgement: Compliant 

Narrative: 

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) operates and maintains physical facilities that have been developed throughout the history of the University from the initial land acquisition of 50 acres to 350 acres (Land Acquisitions by Year). Campus property was re-surveyed in 2008 to adjust for roadways and make survey corrections which yielded a footprint of 330 acres. Through strategically-developed capital improvements incorporated into the campus master plan, educational and support programs expanded from the initial 43,110 square feet to 1,101,312square feetwith 48% of these improvements made since 2000 (USC Upstate Master Plan; Facilities Growth by Gross Square Feet).The plan defines core areas of useincluding academic, institutional support, residential, recreational, parking, and others.  Needs are determined in the University’s strategic planning process which incorporates mission-driven goals and initiatives for both operating programs and capital improvements.  Financial plans and strategies for these capital initiatives are also included in this integrated strategic planning process (Strategic Plan).The master plan is reviewed annually.

Included in the educational and academic square footage is space in the University Readiness Center (URC). The facility was constructed in a unique partnership arrangement with the South Carolina National Guard.  The URC is managed and maintained by USC Upstateas specified in an operating agreement (University Readiness Center Operating Agreement).

Growth in Academic Space
Increases in educational and general space were needed to accommodategrowth in student enrollment.  Over the past 10 years, educational and general space increased from 455,074 square feet in 2000 to 736,759 in 2010, a 62% increase.  During that same period, full-time equivalent (FTE) student enrollment increased from 3,012 to 4,839 or61% (Educational and General Space per FTE).To create living and learning environments in campus housing, 6,900 square feet of educational space was constructed in the residential facilities.

Significant classroom space was added over the past 10 years with the number of classrooms increasing by 104% from 53 to 108 classrooms. The number of laboratories increased from 20 to 38 in that same time period, a 90% increase. Much of this space was added in the last three years (Growth in the Number of Classrooms and Laboratories from 2000 to 2010). 

Use of Classrooms and Laboratories
With the development of additional classrooms and laboratories, utilization ratesas measured by the South Carolina Commission for Higher Education (SCCHE) declined slightly even thoughthe University is enrolling more students.  This indicates additional overall capacity for both daytime and evening use.  Compared tothe 10South Carolina public comprehensive universities, USC Upstate ranks sixth in use of both classroomsand laboratories, 6% above the average for classroom use,and 14% below average for laboratoryuse.

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USC Upstate provides academic instruction in Greenville at the University Center of Greenville(UCG) and occupies 15,504 square feet of dedicated space for faculty offices, laboratories and other support purposes(Space Used by USC Upstate at the University Center Greenville).In addition, the Center provides general classroom and support space for USC Upstate and other members of the consortium.  This facility is managed by the Center’s administration under the governance structure of the UCG Board(UCG Board Bylaws).  Maintenance services are contracted with Greenville Technical College (GTC).

With growing demand for baccalaureate degrees offered by USC Upstate in the Greenville area and specifically for students in transfer programs at GTC, enrollment growth potential exists.  However, additional spacewill be required to address long-term growth.

Based on an operating agreement with USC Sumter, facilities are provided for upper-level and graduate School of Education courses offered by USC UpstateThose facilities are controlled and maintained by USC Sumter.

State Funding of Facilities
The master plan includes a new library,also called the “Information Resource Center”, designed in 1999 with $1 million instate funds allocated for architectural services with planned construction funding to follow.  However, South Carolina Legislature has not authorized a bond bill in the past 10 years (State Funding for Capital Projects for USC Upstate).In the state’s submission document for capital project funding for all state agencies, the Comprehensive Permanent Improvement Plan (CPIP), the USC Upstate Library ranks tenth among all state higher education projects with a funding request of $29.8 million (State Capital Permanent Improvement Plan Requests for 2010-11). Recent renovations in the existing library, including installation of compact shelving, and advancement in technologies provide additional space and services.

Land Resources
Land has been acquired by Spartanburg County for use by USC Upstate.  Spartanburg County has assigned control and use of this acreage to Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education (the Commission) (Spartanburg County Ordinance). Although some interim land acquisitions were made by the Commissionand the USC Upstate Foundation in recent years, these have been re-purchased by Spartanburg County. These assets are provided for use by USC Upstate at no cost.  All grounds maintenance and improvements areprovided by the University.  Land use as defined in the University’s master plan is submitted to the Commission for review and approval.

In addition, lease agreements exist for other facilities that include land parcels.  The business services facility is leased from the USC Upstate Foundation and includes six acres of land.  The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics is leased from CPF Properties II, LLC and includes one acre of land.

Space Needs Assessments and Development Strategies
As new facilities were built, programswere relocated to accommodate enrollment growth and provide improved support services.  In 2008, with the completion of the 150,000-square-foot Health Education Complex (HEC) and Wellness Center, a number of areas moved to HEC including the Mary Black School of Nursing, School of Education, Enrollment Services (Admissions, Records, Registration and Veteran’s Affairs, Financial Aid, Bursar), and Bookstore.

One building project completed in 2010 was the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, a 60,000-square-foot academic facility constructed in downtown Spartanburg.  Built with substantial private funding support, this strategically-placed academic facility provides opportunities for engagement with the business community.  Specific maintenance plans and services were developed to support this facility’s operating requirements.

To maximize the benefit of vacated spaces from the construction of new facilities, a campus-wide space-needs-assessment was conducted for all academic and support programs by Michael Keeshen& Associates (Space Utilization Study, Summaries:Student and Diversity Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics, Academic Affairs).Building renovations were defined, funded, and implemented which included many core renovations in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Prior to the completion of new academic facilities construction and to provide classroom facilities for instruction, USC Upstate acquired threetemporary modular classrooms.  These units will be phasedout asinvestments and space benefits from installations are fully realized.  One modular unit was recently removed.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Assessments and Improvements
The offices of Facilities Management and Disability Services meet annually to assess ADA-related needs and priorities.  Recent upgrades include complete sidewalk connectivity to campus buildings, sidewalk repairs,Braille lettering, and automatic doors for all academic buildings(Campus Map of ADA Facility).New construction and renovations are in compliance with ADA mandates.

Residential Facilities
Residential facilities comprise approximately 26% of the total gross square footage of theUniversity space.  These facilities are operated as auxiliary enterprises and maintained by a combination of on-site facilities-maintenance staff, contractual services, and support from the Office of Facilities Management (OFM).Current space will accommodate some growth (Residential Facilities Gross Square Feet).

Parking Facilities
Over the past 10 years, the number of parking spaces for the University community has increased by 189%, from 1,259 to 3,643.  This growth has out-paced the growth in FTEenrollment of 21% during the same period and, as a result, a significantly higher space per student ratio exists.  Forty percent of the parking spaces have been constructed in the last five years, representing a 69% increase from 2005 to 2010.

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Facilities Maintenance Program
In order to preserve and enhance physical assets, the University provides maintenance services and appropriate levels and types of insurance.For 2010, buildings and other campus improvements were insured by the State’s Insurance Reserve Fund based on replacement cost of approximately $167 million and contents values at $43 million.  Additional coverage includes $4 million for data equipment, $162,000 for art collections, and $538,500 for maintenance equipment, worker’s compensation, and liability coverage.  The University recognizes the importance in achieving its mission of timely replacement or corrective action associated with any loss related to equipment or buildings (Replacement Cost and Revised Insured Values for Buildings and Contents, 2011). 

The OFM is responsible for construction;energy management;facilities operations; preventative, routine and non-routine maintenance; landscaping; and building custodial services. The organizational structure includes director and supervisor levels with respective job certifications and training as required (Organization Chart for Facilities Management).

The South Carolina Energy Office of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board uses SchoolDude utility management software to report energy usage and progress on energy conservation plans.  OFM uses three SchoolDude programs to schedule preventative maintenance, control maintenance activities, and provide utility tracking, analysis, and reporting. South Carolina Code of Laws 48-52-620 requires agencies to have an energy management plan and to reduce energy consumption annually.USC Upstate made a 6.1% efficiency improvement based on energy intensity as shown in the report “Energy Use and Cost Annual Summary FY09”.

To maintain equipment and facilities, work orders are entered, approved, and tracked with assignments made to individual staff members.  Cost of labor and materials is recorded and reported for each order.  For preventative maintenance, schedules are determined for work performed weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually, and work orders are used as required byinspection and service operations.  Schedules are updated as new equipment is added and adjustments are made based on the equipment requirements and the facility’s needs. Each facilityis also assigned a building and floor coordinator to assist OFM and serves as the contact person for that building.  Each coordinator is trained on the maintenance system to submit work order requests for routine and emergency maintenance issues.  OFM staff receives requests and assigns priorities based on the nature of the request (Facilities Management Policies and Procedures).

Maintenance Expenditures
Major maintenance projects have been completed as separate capital projects and have been included in campus renovation projects.  Over $19.5 million has been expended throughout the history of the campus, 1968 to 2010,for renovation and maintenance projects including roof replacements, mechanical system and controls upgrades, exterior repairs, and electrical system improvements.  As areas were renovated, maintenance work was completed along with interior finishes including flooring, door and window installations,painting, ceiling replacements, and other upgrades (Renovation and Maintenance Projects).

Included in the general operating budget are separate budgets for maintenance and care of building and grounds.  Expenditures for these maintenance programs have increased by 39% in the last five years.

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Facilities and Safety Survey Results
The Office of Institutional Research conducted surveys of employees, first-year students, and graduates to determine their degree of satisfaction with facilities and safety programs. The appearance of buildings and grounds received very high ratings. Of the first-year students surveyed in 2008-09, 83% were very satisfied or satisfied with campus facilities.  For graduates, 91% indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with the campus appearance including all grounds and outsides of buildings.  Building interiors and comfort levels received marks of 75% and 74% respectively in the graduates’ survey.  Less than 4% were very dissatisfied; however, a much larger number than desired, about 22%, were dissatisfied with the building interior and comfort levels. An administrative assessment of building maintenance and custodial services indicated that 64% found the services to be excellent or good and 27% indicated an average rating.  OFM is aware of this information and is upgrading interior spaces for both function and appearance.

Support Documents: 

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USC Upstate
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Toll-free: 800-277-8727
Phone: 864-503-5000
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