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What Is Capital Outlay?

December 1, 2016

WSU’s new Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio) is dedicated to studying and eliminating the many health disparities that plague the city's residents. It will eventually house over 400 individuals within 200,000 square feet of lab and clinical space designed to foster a collaborative and flexible team science approach to research.

If you happen to be walking along Woodward Avenue and notice Wayne State’s new Integrative Biosciences Center, or IBio, you might wonder how an impressive facility like this is paid for. As the University simply does not have enough funding to pay for facilities like this on our own, the State of Michigan, with the help of generous donors, helps the University pay for projects like IBio through a process called Capital Outlay.

Capital Outlay is the section of the state’s budget that is dedicated to help colleges, universities, community colleges and the State of Michigan renovate, repair and construct new buildings, such as IBio.

State oversight of the Capital Outlay funding process is through the Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee in the state legislature. This subcommittee, which currently consists of 14 members from both the House and the Senate, is charged with determining which building requests from the State and the Higher Education community are a high priority and then providing a planning authorization and funding to those projects through the annual appropriations process. Like all pieces of legislation, the Governor will sign the Capital Outlay bill into law after any differences between the administration and the subcommittee are worked out.

It should be noted that a Capital Outlay budget does not necessarily have to be passed each fiscal year.

In 2010, Wayne State was awarded $30 million through this process to help pay for the $90 million cost of IBio - which is the largest building project in the University’s history. Without a third of the funding coming from the State, educational facilities like IBio may not be a possibility.

There are two ways the state pays for these construction projects: lump-sum cash payments, or financing through the issuance of debt through what is known as the State Building Authority. The larger projects are traditionally funded through the State Building Authority.

Prior to IBio, the last Capital Outlay funding Wayne State received was in 2005 for the Danto Engineering Development Center. The University received $15 million from the state for the construction of that facility.

Other Capital Outlay projects on Wayne State’s campus include $13.875 million for the Welcome Center in 1998; $48.2 million in 1996 for the Applebaum Pharmacy Building; $26 million for the David Adamany Library; and $42.8 million in 1993 for the renovations to Old Main.

The University’s top Capital Outlay project request to the State for the coming year is $14.75 million for a new STEM Innovation Learning Center on campus. The Division of Government and Community Affairs will be working closely with the administration and members of the Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee in Lansing to advocate for a Capital Outlay budget that includes funding for our STEM Innovation Learning Center next year.


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284