A new high school football field in Prince William County, Va., will be built directly above the former site of at least 11 graves and the decision has angered the possible descendants of those buried there.
The Washington Post reports that construction began on the site on Nov. 11. Five days later, researchers traced the land to a 100-acre farm occupied by a man named William Lynn, his wife, Cordelia, and their children in the mid-1800s. Officials, however, said it was too late for the dig to be stopped, and the work was finished on Nov. 21.
“The football field!” Carolyn Lynn, who believes she is related to the cemetery’s occupants, told the Post. “It’s not even the high school. . . . And that kind of adds insult to injury.”
A school official told the Post that the cemetery had been discovered in 2008 by contractors surverying the site, but the contractors didn't tell the school system until July. By then, officials said it was too late to redesign the site.
"Had a redesign even been possible, it would have cost significant money and time that the school division does not have," Prince William County public school system spokesman Philip B. Kavits said.
The school system has since bought plots for reburials at a nearby cemetery, but Carolyn Lynn continues to protest that her possible relatives should be buried closer to their original resting place.
"I think we could probably come to an agreement, an amicable one," Lynn said. "But the School Board won't talk to us. Right now, they're waiting for the report from the archaeologists."