The Site housed a community school from 1897 to 2013. The school was closed in November 2013 after a fire damaged a portion of the building. The school has been vacant since the fire. The City of Milwaukee foreclosed on the property in 2016 and secured the building. However, multiple openings to the building were observed by City of Milwaukee personnel along with vandalism within the building. Repeated attempts to secure the building have not deterred trespassers.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) identified unsecured hazardous materials inside the building, including friable asbestos, mercury-containing devices, and abandoned corrosive and flammable containers. Warning signs have been posted notifying the community of dangers posed by the contamination. Broken windows throughout the building have exposed the interior to weather fluctuations causing further deterioration of the building. In addition, the exterior building façade has fallen into disrepair causing the City of Milwaukee to place barricades around the affected areas to protect the community from falling debris.
EPA conducted a removal site assessment in November 2016 to observe building conditions and collect environmental samples. Trespassing was confirmed at locations outside and inside the building, Incompatible materials were stored in a manner creating a fire threat, Laboratory sample results indicated asbestos exposure to trespassers and hazardous constituents in the boiler room ash. Numerous mercury switches were secured during the site assessment. EPA conducted a removal action to address the threats posed by the abandoned containers, ash, and friable asbestos from April 24, 2017 - June 18, 2017. The City of Milwaukee is continuing to secure the building while pursuing redevelopment opportunities.