What Are Plant Funds?

Plant funds, in general, are funds used for the construction, renovation, and acquisition of capital assets. Capital assets are tangible items with a useful life of at least one year and meet the university’s capitalization criteria.

Capitalizable expenditures include structural changes to a building that increase its usefulness (i.e., usable space), efficiency (i.e., elevator, roofing, HVAC), or asset life. In addition, work to improve infrastructure would be capitalized including parking lots, street and parking lighting, roads, sidewalks, and storm sewers.

Non-capitalizable expenditures, which may not necessarily be charged to a Plant Fund account, would include the following:

  • Expenditures related to maintaining an asset or returning the asset to the same level of quality or similar to its original condition.
  • Restoration of a facility so that it can be effectively used for its current purpose.
  • Infrastructure work to keep its present condition.
  • Repair items, such as; custodial services, restoring antiques/painting, replacing old windows, or replacing equipment parts.

Types of Plant Funds

Unexpended Plant Funds (Fund Source: 7-7xxxx)

Unexpended Plant Funds are used for the construction, renovation and acquisition of long-lived assets for university purposes. Each Plant Fund account is established for a single project or purpose. Generally, Plant Funds are used to account for the following.

  • Land acquisition
  • Construction or acquisition of buildings
  • Renovations of existing buildings over $100,000 that would increase its usefulness, efficiency, or asset life
  • New or renovations to existing land improvements and infrastructure over $50,000 that would increase its usefulness, efficiency, or asset life

There are also funds set aside to renew and replace university properties. These are general renovations under $100,000 and do not meet the university’s capitalization criteria. These accounts are only created if it is necessary to accumulate funds more than one fiscal year to fund the project. If accumulation of funds is not necessary, then the expenditure can be charged directly to any department’s non-plant account.

Construction in Progress (CIP) (Fund Source: 8-8xxxx)

These accounts track all expenses of ongoing construction projects at the university that will be capitalized. Generally, these accounts are created for construction projects over $100,000 that would increase its usefulness, efficiency, or asset life.