Health & Safety

Sabin Hall

 Sabin Hall

Building #1923
3413 N. Downer Avenue
Built: 1928
Renovated: 1967
Renovated: 2000-2001
Space: 55,209 gsf
Five stories plus basement and attic
Original Cost: $320,000
1967 Renovation Cost: $545,321
2001 Renovation Cost: $6.9 million

Background Information:

Sabin Hall, acquired in the Milwaukee-Downer College campus purchase, was built in 1928. Sabin Hall originally housed all the science departments of the Milwaukee-Downer College. From 1964 until the mid-1990s it housed the UWM Geological Sciences and Geography Departments. The building is currently occupied by the Department of Anthropology, the Archaeological Research Laboratory and the IMT departments of Creative Services and Technical Resources.

The building was extensively remodeled in 1967. The basement had extensive asbestos abatement in the late-1980s. The building was again renovated in 1999-2001; UWM occupied the building in May 2001.

Post-Renovation Synopsis:

  • All mechanical systems were replaced during the 2001 renovation. All new thermal system insulation (TSI) in building is asbestos-free insulation.
  • The exterior wall plaster, stairwell wall and ceiling plaster, and lecture hall plaster was left in-place. The exterior wall plaster, except for in the lecture hall, was covered with new drywall over metal studs. The stairwell and lecture hall plaster is still original plaster. Please obtain bulk sample analysis for any disturbance of original wall plaster, otherwise treat as ACM.
  • All ceiling tile was installed during the 2001 renovation, and we assume is asbestos-free.
  • All flooring was installed during the 2001 renovation, and we assume is asbestos-free.
  • Chilled water branch lines from tunnel to building were installed in 2000 and are asbestos-free.
  • Check with John Kurzawa regarding steam conduit status: If new installation, the insualtion is asbestos-free; if existing conduit was used, then assume TSI is asbestos.

Pre-Renovation Asbestos, Lead-Paint and Environmental Synopsis:

  • All 1928-era plaster was treated as asbestos containing material (ACM) during the 2000 renovation.
  • All thermal system insulation (TSI, pipe insulation, HVAC gaskets, etc.) which wasn't fiberglass or Armaflex was treated as ACM during the 2000 renovation.
  • All floor tile and mastic, especially nine inch tile, was treated as ACM during the 2000 renovation.
  • Lab benches and transite fume hood panels were treated as ACM during the 2000 renovation.
  • Other miscellaneous ACM was found throughout the building.
  • All peeling exterior trim paint was assumed to be lead-based paint. All exterior trim and windows replaced during 2001 renovation.
Lead based paint
Lead based paint on exterior trim.
  • Soil in elevator pit may be contaminated by hydraulic oil. This will require investigation and possible remediation by DFD. (NOTE: This needs updating, check with John Kurzawa regarding status of this topic).
  • The north fume hood in room 371 was used for perchloric acid digestions. This hood has a duct/stack wash-down system. Specialized work procedures were utilized for disassembly of this system during the 2000 renovation.
  • Please see the Sabin Hall Abatement Project Log for additional information.
  • Please see the UWM Asbestos Inventory.pdf document, Adobe Acrobat required for additional information.

Fire Protection:

  • Sprinklers (must be determined).
  • The nearest fire hydrants are located (must be determined).
  • Standpipe connections are located (must be determined).
  • Areas of rescue assistance are located (must be determined).


  • Must be determined.


  • There are no known underground storage tanks associated with Sabin Hall.
  • A hydraulic lift was installed at the loading dock during the 2000 renovation. The old hydraulic passenger elevator was removed during the 2000 renovation and any contaminated soil was removed. A new hydraulic elevator was installed during the renovation.