Northern Arizona University built the Recycling Building in 1994 after student and faculty called for the University to begin recycling. In 2004, the City of Flagstaff took over NAU's recycling, and the building stood empty until 2005 when the Sculpture Studio moved in. NAU initially housed the sculpting program behind the Performing and Fine Arts Building before moving it to the Heating Plant. Sculpting classes shared space in this building that also heated North Campus buildings and housed the Plateau Center, which conducted Colorado Plateau research. Because of poor ventilation and a lack of weatherproofing for outdoor sculpture work, faculty and students considered the location unsafe. The new location provdes a functional and safer environment for sculpture work.