Construction of new high school unearths graveyard

WASHINGTON — Prince William County’s public school system is growing by about 2,000 new students each year. So the county is set to build a new high school. But the building process has discovered a graveyard predating the Civil War at the 110-acre site for the new school. It may need to be unearthed and moved.

“In the course of surveying the property, there were some remains discovered,” Phil Kavits, communications director for Prince William County Public Schools. The graveyard has about 13 burial plots that could date from before the Civil War.

“We’re going to be working with the appropriate state agency to determine how to go about moving those remains to a commercial cemetery,” Kavits says. “What’s going to happen now is that that information is going to be shared with the public through a public notice.”

If no family members come forward or there are no objections, the county will work with state archaeologists who are experts on how to move the remains.

What will be the 12th high school for Prince William County will probably start construction sometime next spring. And since the cemetery is where the football stadium will be built, Kavits says the discovery probably won’t delay the construction of the actual school, which is scheduled to open September 2016.

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