FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Construction in an area of a new Fort Bend Independent School District career technology center has been halted after the discovery of a historic cemetery on the property, the district announced.
"We were back-filling into a trench when we found some remains, or what we thought could be remains," said Fort Bend County ISD Chief Communications Officer Veronica Sopher. "At this point, we've got a couple of dozen graves and that number keeps changing every day -- more than 30 as of this morning."
The school district later said about 79 graves had been found and that exploration was continuing.
A portion of the site of the James Reese Career and Technical Center at University Boulevard and Chatham Avenue in Sugar Land has become an excavation site, while construction continues in other areas.
The district said it is working with the Texas Historical Commission.
"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. 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," Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Charles Dupre said in a press release.