Fort Bend ISD has decided to end its lawsuit to remove the remains of the state prison inmates known from a school construction site.
According to a statement from the board president, the district will work with Fort Bend County to create a memorial as well as re-internment of the remains.
“We appreciate and welcome the county’s recent commitment to work with the District toward a solution that preserves the story and memory of those buried on this historic site,” FBISD board president Jason Burdine said in a statement on Friday. “In order to show our good faith and commitment to working toward a comprehensive solution, the District will halt all further court action while we explore all available options with the County. The District’s plan to build the portion of the building that is within the cemetery area has been canceled.”
This comes after Fort Bend County commissioners agreed to an inter-local agreement to come up with a memorial.
FBISD sued in November after the remains were found on the construction site of the James Reese Career and Technical Center in February of 2018.
The district said in court documents that moving the school from the area would cost the district $18 million.
“Fort Bend ISD agrees that the Sugar Land 95 need to be memorialized at the site of discovery. We have embraced the offer made by Fort Bend County to work with us to create an appropriate memorial for the victims of the convict leasing system,” Burdine said in the statement. “We are hopeful and optimistic that by working together with the county, these bodies can be reinterred so they can rest in peace.
“Should we encounter any obstacles to this solution, we will look to the State of Texas, other elected officials, as well as lawmakers, to assist us in finding a solution.”
The district also was against ownership of the memorial, but the agreement would allow the county to take at least part ownership of the cemetery.