After uncovering a historic cemetery at the site of the new James Reese Career and Technical Center, Fort Bend ISD has halted construction in that particular area as it investigates this discovery, according to an announcement released Friday.
The site is located at University Boulevard and Chatham Avenue in Sugar Land.
“It was about a month ago that they initially found what had appeared to be human remains,” said Amanda Bubela, FBISD director of external communications and media relations. “It was last week that they determined that this was actually a historic cemetery, meaning that there were multiple graves present.”
When the school district purchased the land in 2011, there were no markers or past records indicating such a cemetery existed on the site, Bubela said.
School district officials are collaborating with archeologists to excavate the site and to identify the scope and time frame of the cemetery, as well as who was buried there, she said. The investigation is still in its initial stages.
“We are proceeding under the guidance and expertise of the Texas Historical Commission to ensure we are respecting the history and lives of the people buried on this site,” FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said in a released statement. “One of our community members who has a passion for history brought to our attention the possibility of archeological artifacts in the general area. We were careful as we began work, with an archeologist on site from the beginning.”
Work continues in other parts of the construction site, which spans approximately 65 acres, Bubela said. FBISD will release more information as it becomes available.