The Department of Public Works oversaw the construction of the Maintenance and Grounds Building in 1961/62 with an extension in 1964 including a vehicle storage addition. Some minor interior refurbishment is noted from 1981; by 1985 the building housed up to 20 full-time all-year round staff and as many 60 seasonal workers. A further expansion appeared on the books in 1985 to accommodate the increase in work anticipated for the 1988 Winter Olympics, and for the long-term needs of the campus at a cost of $337,500. This renovation included “female staff facilities” that had not been necessary in the early 1960s.
The building accommodates the activities of the grounds-crew, who care for a landscape of over 123 hectares. A memo from 1989 notes: “The University has extensively developed the grounds of the campus. The landscape, together with the buildings, plays a critical role in defining the image of the university. The open space is used extensively by staff and students and is an integral part of the university experience.”
A 2005 condition assessment report indicated the very basic nature of the building: “the building is a basic one-storey structure on grade with exposed wood roof deck, steel structure and masonry walls. Office areas have finished floors and walls. No air conditioning exists. The building is basically utilitarian and not readily usable for other purposes…a temporary building was placed adjacent [for the Olympics]. It remains there still. The greenhouses and connected header house are designed for no other use and are separated from the Grounds Building by a roadway and parking area.”
A massive hailstorm in the later-2000s destroyed the greenhouse.