Frederick County Public Schools Locates Graves on Site of Replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School

Frederick County Public Schools Locates Graves on Site of Replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School
Posted on 12/03/2019
Replacement Aylor Updated ModelFor Immediate Release
December 3, 2019
Contact: Steve Edwards, Coordinator of Policy and Communications
540-662-3888 ext. 88235

Frederick County Public Schools has located several graves on the 57-acre site on which the replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School will be built. The school, which is being built on White Oak Road in Stephens City, is scheduled to open in August 2021.

Assistant Superintendent for Administration Al Orndorff says, “Prior to purchasing the property for the replacement Aylor Middle School in January, a thorough evaluation of the site was completed by staff with assistance from an outside third party. The evaluation included researching land records as well as a study of the history of the property. During the evaluation process, we found no information indicating that there were graves or the possibility of graves on the site.

Several weeks ago, the school division received new information suggesting that graves may be located on the property. In an effort to be respectful and complete our due diligence, we contracted professional consultants who utilized ground-penetrating radar to survey the areas on the site where it was indicated that graves may have been located. This testing identified areas on the property where graves appeared to be present. A certified archaeologist was contracted to complete a field survey in the identified areas which resulted in the discovery of 10 graves. We believe that these graves were part of the Reed family cemetery. In addition, eight tombstones were discovered in various states of damage during the excavation of a separate area on the property. The tombstones date between 1822 and 1834.

It is our intention to respect those whose final resting place is on the property and we are working with the appropriate agencies in considering the options available to the school division. Based on what is known at this time, the discovery of the cemetery and graves will not impact our plans to construct the school and is not expected to delay the opening of the school for the 2021-22 school year.”