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Residents ask board to honor graves found on future school site

19 December 2019 Frederick County News

In the Frederick County School Board Meeting on Tuesday, residents urged the panel to find a way to respectfully honor the people buried on the site of the future Robert E. Aylor Middle School. When performing initial work for the new school, 10 graves believed to be part of the Reed family cemetery and eight tombstones dating between 1822 and 1834 were discovered on the 57-acre property at 471 White Oak Road near Stephens City.

Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine said earlier this month that school officials recently received information that graves might be on the property, so a consultant was hired and testing found areas where graves seem to be present. A previous evaluation of the land before it was purchased by the school division in January for $1.3 million did not indicate there were graves or a possibility of graves.

Residents suggested putting the construction on hold and then reach out to the public before they make a final decision on what will be done with the grave sites. Gainesboro resident Becky Morrison suggested possibly designating a portion of the property to the graves and putting a fence around the grave site, with a plaque honoring those buried there. The replacement Aylor Middle School is slated to open in August 2021. It will replace the existing Aylor on Aylor Road.

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