- Associated Press - Sunday, March 20, 2016

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A public hearing is planned to consider concerns about Savannah State University’s plans to build a science and technology center on the site of an old cemetery.

University officials plan to build a 30,000-square-foot science and technology center on the site, The Savannah Morning News reported (bit.ly/1RTkaU0).

The area was part of the Placentia Plantation Colored Cemetery a century ago, the newspaper reported.

Workers surveying the site had discovered anomalies believed to be graves containing the remains of three to five people, the newspaper reported. The crews were using radar when they made the discovery.

University officials “were not aware of the possible cemetery until this process began,” university spokeswoman Loretta Heyward told the newspaper.

In 1891, the grounds were secured for use as part of a land grant college for African-Americans, the Savannah newspaper reported.

The abandoned cemetery and unmarked graves in the north-central part of campus were forgotten over time. Historians have not been able to determine the exact dates the cemetery was used or who is buried there, the Morning News reported.

School officials want to move forward with plans to build the two-story, 30,000-square-foot science and technology center, which will house Savannah State’s engineering technology programs and chemistry laboratories, the Savannah newspaper reported.

University System officials have petitioned Chatham County Superior Court for a permit to relocate the graves. A public hearing is scheduled for April 11 at the Chatham County Courthouse to hear input from citizens on the plan.

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