Nearly a hundred unmarked graves in Sugar Land will be exhumed after a judge earlier this month granted Fort Bend ISD permission to go ahead with the process in order to build a $59 million career and technical center for the district's students. Workers discovered the bodies earlier this year. The process if expected to take about a month and cost around $1 million. The graves are believed to contain the century-old remains of African-American prison inmates. The area is near the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery, which contains more than 30 graves of guards and prisoners who were once part of the Imperial State Prison Farm. Houston Matters reported on that site back in 2016.
Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre joins Houston Matters to explain the process of exhuming the bodies. Then, University of Houston anthropology professor Dr. Ken Brown explains why he thinks someone with a specialized knowledge of African-American history needs to examine the remains
Perhaps the developer who sold the land to FBISD, California-based Newland Communities should be approached about making a donation to cover some of these costs.
I also now have to wonder whether the adjacent land, owned by the city of Sugar Land, which contains the known cemetery will ever be turned into a park, as originally planned........disturbing that soil, and finding more graves will be expensive.
Many of those who moved and purchased a home in Telfair, a relatively new neighborhood in a 2,000 plus acre subdivision, said they did it because they were told a high school was planned to be built. Then nothing happened and last year they voiced their concerns to city officials in Sugar Land wanting to know who was accountable for non-delivery - Newland, the developer, or FBISD.
It was 2003, when Sugar Land first approved a General Plan for Telfair, which underwent several amendments for the development of the master planned community. In the plan, there were two elementary schools and one 65-acre high school for the Telfair neighborhood south of U.S. 90A, west of State Highway 6, and east of the New Territory subdivision.
According to Newland last year, it had set aside land for the high school, but it needed to find out whether the school district was still interested in pursuing those plans. Newland said it wanted to close out the development project in that neighborhood, alternatively with the construction of more homes.