TAMPA, Florida – Hillsborough County Public Schools announced on Wednesday that 145 coffins were found buried underneath the campus of King High School in Tampa, Florida.
Last month, the school district received information that the lost Ridgewood Cemetery could be on the property of King High School.
Within days, the school district hired a team of geophysical technicians from GeoView to begin mapping and scanning the campus.
Technicians found clear evidence of burials on the southern edge of the King High School campus where ground-penetrating radar detected approximately 145 coffins that were buried 3 to 5 feet deep.
Although the radar cannot tell exactly what is under the surface, the school district said that the pattern of findings matches historical records of a one-acre cemetery on the site.
Hillsborough County Public Schools stated that it remains committed to respecting the individuals who are buried there, and their families.
The school district now plans to remove agricultural lab facilities and an agricultural workshop that were built in the late 1970s in the area of the cemetery.
The City of Tampa opened Ridgewood Cemetery in the 1940s as a “potter’s field” which is a paupers’ grave for the burial of unknown, unclaimed or indigent people.
The Hillsborough County Public Schools District acquired the 40-acre property in 1959.