Officials discuss next step for Oakwood Cemetery Chapel

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department has been asking the public for input on the next steps for the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel after human remains were found last year. They spoke about the feedback they received Tuesday night.

The city recommended human remains found under the Oakwood Chapel be recovered and reinterred. 

Last October, construction began on rehabilitating and remodeling the chapel for use as a visitor’s center. Work crews were drilling to stabilize the chapel when human remains were discovered. It is estimated that there may be up to 25 burial sites near or under the chapel.

Construction was immediately stopped in October so archaeologists could determine more about the burials.

The city recommends the remains be recovered, where it is safe to do so, then buried in the section of the cemetery known as the colored grounds. The cemetery was first used for people of color in Central Texas.

Project leaders listened to recommendations from people who live in the area.

The city says when a final decision is made it will be done in a way to respect the community and commemorate those laid to rest there.

READ MORE: Archaeologists discover burial sites under Oakwood Cemetery Chapel in East Austin

Since the discovery, the City of Austin has been having meetings to discuss some options about what to do next. 

READ MORE: Update on Oakwood Chapel findings