Fonds F-11 - Facilities Management Department fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Facilities Management Department fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title of the fonds is based on the name of its creator.

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    Statement of scale (architectural)

    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1960 - 2003 (Creation)
      Facilities Services

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    14.26 m of textual records and other material

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    Archival description area

    Name of creator

    (1968 -)

    Administrative history

    The origin of Facilities Management can be traced back to the appointment of the University's first staff member, Arthur Gordon Orr, as Superintendent of Engineering Services on 1 September 1963. By September 1964, the position was renamed Manager of General Services. In 1968, the Department of Physical Plant and Planning was created to manage one of the functions of General Services. In 1988, Physical Plant and Planning was replaced by Facilities Management.

    General Services was originally responsible for building construction and plant maintenance, as well as for many other services such as traffic, security, fire prevention, purchasing, bookstore operations, central stores, mail, and food services. Some services, such as food, security, and building cleaning, were contracted to outside firms. In these cases, the Department acted in an overall supervisory role. Other functions, such as purchasing, were carried out by departmental employees. The scheduling of space was an important concern of the new university, and the Manager chaired a Space Usage Committee, charged with room allocation.

    In August 1967, General Services was reorganized into three sections: Physical Plant and Planning, Purchasing, and Ancillary Services. The following year, these sections became departments, the heads of which reported to the Vice-President, Administration. Physical Plant and Planning, headed by a Director, was responsible for the maintenance and operations of physical plant, the planning of all future facilities, and the construction of all facilities. These duties included liaison with the faculty on space problems. Ancillary Services was responsible for such functions as food services, security, and mail. Purchasing was charged with purchasing supplies and equipment.

    In 1972, Physical Plant and Planning was formally divided into three separate divisions: Planning and Design, Construction, and Maintenance and Operations. The functions of these divisions were outlined in a l973 report, "Organizations, Responsibilities, and Objectives: Physical Plant and Planning." The Planning and Design Division was authorized "to co-ordinate planning and design for the physical development of the university." Construction Division was made responsible "for managing, on behalf of the University, the programme involving the expenditure of capital funds for the construction of new buildings and facilities, as well as designated minor projects." This function included liaison with departmental user groups.

    Maintenance and Operations, the largest division, was comprised of various sections: Building and Grounds, Mechanical and Plumbing, Electrical Section, Projects (responsible for estimating and scheduling Work Orders), Maintenance and Operations Office, and Janitorial and Safety. In addition to regular maintenance work carried out by all sections, Projects section estimated and scheduled work orders, which were then carried out by tradespeople from the various sections. At the start of the 1974-1975 fiscal year, the three sections were reduced to two due to the amalgamation of the Planning and Design and Construction sections.

    Ancillary Services supervised a number of functions. From 1974-1983, it was responsible for purchasing, duplicating, telephone, mail, traffic and security, central stores, and food services. From 1974-1979, it was also responsible for athletics and recreation, and from 1976-1979 for safety. In December 1983, Ancillary Services was dissolved as a separate unit, and Physical Plant and Planning assumed responsibility for several of Ancillary Services' functions: traffic and security, central stores, campus mail, telephones, and office equipment.

    On 1 February 1986, Physical Plant and Planning began to report to the newly created position of Executive Director, Administrative Services, the successor to the Vice-President, Administration. During that year the Department was divided into three different units: Physical Plant, Facilities Planning and Construction, and Support Services. The responsibility for traffic and security was moved to Student Services. In 1988, Facilities Management was created to assume the functions formerly carried out by Physical Plant, and Facilities Planning and Construction.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The Facilities Management fonds consists of records created and received in the course of the administration of the Department and the carrying out of its functions, which changed over time. The original responsibilities of the department included building the physical plant of the University, maintaining buildings and grounds, and providing support services such as food, traffic control, and security. Later, its functions were narrowed to the construction and maintenance of the physical plant and grounds.

    The activities documented include policy and procedures development; the planning, construction and maintenance of the University's physical plant and grounds, including land acquisition and liaison with outside consultants and bodies; and the planning and delivery of services to the University, including water and power, traffic, security, fire prevention, purchasing, bookstore operations, central stores, mail, and food. The types of documents include meeting agenda and minutes, certificates, contracts, correspondence, copies of deeds, legal releases, lists, maps, memoranda, architectural plans, reports, and design specification books.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The records in Series 1 through 4 were transferred directly to Archives from Facilities Management through the regular application of university Records Retention Schedules and Disposal Authorities (RRSDAs).

    The records in Series 5 "Architectural design reports, maps, and plans" were added to the fonds by the archivist in 2006 as an artificial series. The records had been acquired by the archives over a period of years from unrecorded sources and had not been formally processed.


    The fonds was arranged into series and originally described by the archivist in 1991. In most cases, records were arranged according to original order and the creating office's classification system. Exceptions are noted in the appropriate series description.

    Language of material

      Script of material

        Location of originals

        Availability of other formats

        Some materials have been digitized and are available for offline delivery. See series 5-1 and series 5-3; consult the reference archivist for more information.

        Restrictions on access

        Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as required by law. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Finding aids

        File lists are available.

        Generated finding aid

        Associated materials

        For other architectural records relating to construction at SFU, refer to the finding aids of Vice-President, Finance and Administration (F-28), Ron Baker fonds (F-34), Robert Harris fonds (F-46), Zoltan Kiss fonds (F-48), and Student Services fonds (F-107).

        Related materials


        Additional material has been accessioned but not yet processed (as of February 2006: 21 m., 1962-1991). Please consult the archivist for information about using these materials; restrictions may apply. Further accruals are expected.

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        Dates of creation, revision and deletion

        Jul 2023: minor revision to include information about digitized materials.
        Apr 2008: finding aid updated.
        Feb 2006: accruals processed.
        Nov 2004: accruals processed.
        Oct 1997: finding aid prepared by Bruce Schinkelwitz, Ian Forsyth, Enid Britt, Kadimola Lomamba, Judith Thiessen.

        Language of description

        • English

        Script of description


          Accession area