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The Department of Capital Projects
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Initiation Process

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Initiation Process

What is a Capital Project?

A Capital Project can range from multiple levels of conception, which can be more direct to complex scopes of work which impact the campus and the TC community.

Renovation projects, considered as capital improvements for the College, include, but may not be limited to, large scale space reconfiguration (walls coming down or walls going up), bathroom or kitchen full renovations, large scale public space renovations such as halls, office suites and classrooms, and student and faculty housing renovations. This includes all work that will require some or significant building code changes including life safety systems and ADA accessibility and includes architectural and/or engineering services and analysis.

All mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural work which will require feasibility and engineering assessment for long term infrastructure investment and planning, will be managed in partnership with the Office of Facilities.

Typical repair and maintenance work (R and M) which does not constitute a "project", (including carpet replacement, painting, fixture replacements - lighting, plumbing, cabinet repairs, etc.), and can be defined as a direct replacement in kind and does not involve a significant change to the existing conditions, is work that will be managed by the office of Facilities.

All day to day operational issues such as leaks, will be directly managed by the office of Facilities. If the issue deems necessary, the Department of Capital Projects will work with Facilities and investigate the issue and generate an overall strategy.

If you are in need of these services, please contact Facilities to place a work ticket at the TMA iServiceDesk.

Typical Project Schedule
Outline of process and phasing of a typical project (all dependent on typical size of project)

Planning Phase                   ~ 3 month duration

Design Phase                      ~ 3 month duration

Construction Phase          
~ 3+ month duration (This could be longer due to filing for permits with city and state agencies)

Closeout Phase                  ~2 - 4 month duration

Impact/Risk Analysis     
  • Identifying full impact of project to the academic campus both spatially and draw on main infrastructure.
  • Provide full analysis of spatial locations of the project and assess existing room adjacencies.
  • Perform extensive review of existing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in order to identify use or incorporation of existing systems or provide new equipment for the project.

Initiation Process 

Project initiation begins with an initial discussion of the requesting department and Capital Projects staff.

The initial discussion will determine the full impact and analyse the full risk of the project to the adjacent space and existing infrastructure.

Prior to approval, both the requesting department and Capital Projects will work closely together to create a comprehensive project scope concept and budget which can be discussed with the approving department head, the appropriate Vice President or Provost, and the Vice President of Finance and Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Prior to initiating the process, departments should be able to answer a few questions:

Has this scope of work been discussed with the department's senior staff?

Do you have a new/existing space in mind?

Do you have a funding source?

Is there a specific time period/deadline for the project?

Click on "Initiate a Project" to start a major construction or renovation project at Teachers College.

Seeking information on construction projects?

View our pages on "Current Projects" and "Past Projects" for a complete listing.

Within each section, you will find information on construction activities, news, construction time lines, community information, architectural renderings, and contact information.

To request frequent, project-specific updates and information, please e-mail .

Interested in working with us?

Thank you for your interest in working with Teachers College. Over the past several months, we have experienced a significant increase in interest from vendors and contractors interested in working with Columbia.

In order to improve our service and provide a more timely response to interested vendors and contractors, we are currently updating our systems and will not be adding additional vendors/contractors to our portfolio at this time.

As a service to those interested in employment with construction firms currently working at Teachers College, we have developed a referral process at HTTP:// .

Questions or Comments?

Please direct any questions, concerns or emergencies regarding a project to our Service Center at (212) 678-3010