Human remains found at the site of the University of Georgia’s Baldwin Hall has temporarily halted work on an expansion and renovation project of the 77-year-old building, officials announced this week. The unpaved parking lot in front of Baldwin Hall is shown in this historic 1955 photo. (File photo)

UGA’s Baldwin Hall expansion suspended after remains found on site

Work has been temporarily halted on an expansion of the University of Georgia’s Baldwin Hall after several grave sites were found on the construction site, the school reported Friday.

The grave sites are from Old Athens Cemetery, also known as Jackson Street Cemetery, which is adjacent to the north of Baldwin Hall. The first remains were discovered Nov. 17 by the construction crew.

UGA and its anthropology students are assisting in the exhumation and are working with state officials to remove and rebury the remains from up to 27 graves.

Old Athens Cemetery was the official town cemetery for much of the 19th century. The Jackson Street tract was part of UGA’s land grant from the state but was donated to Athens. It was deeded back to the university in 2004.

The $8 million Baldwin Hall expansion project, initially scheduled to be completed September 2016, includes construction of a 10,000-square-foot annex and renovations to the existing building, which was built in 1938. The building served as a Navy pre-flight school during World War II, and currently houses UGA’s school of public and international affairs, along with the departments of sociology and anthropology in the college of arts and sciences.

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