The provenance of these records is varied, and as such, no single historical note can be given. However, design, maintenance and construction on the campus of Appalachian State University is generally carried out by the Physical Plant. Notes on the history of ASU and the Physical Plant follow:
Appalachian State University can trace its origins back to 1899 when brothers B.B. and D. D. Dougherty founded the Watauga Academy. B.B. Dougherty saw a need for trained teachers in Watauga County as well as throughout North Carolina. He was instrumental in getting a bill passed for a state-supported school in Watauga County, which became the Appalachian Training School for Teachers. The school first opened for classes in 1903. In 1925, the school became the Appalachian State Normal School for a period of four years, though in 1929 the name was changed to Appalachian State Teachers' College and it became a four-year college. The transition from a small teachers' college to a multi-disciplinary university would not occur until July 1, 1967 when Appalachian State University was established.
It operates and maintains the Physical Plant segment of this environment (buildings and grounds), and also provides auxiliary services as needed to facilitate and support the distinctive role of Appalachian State University (ASU) as a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. The Physical Plant operates within Business Affairs, and works closely with the Office of Design and Construction. It has been in operation at ASU since at least 1971.