HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Board of Education revealed plans on Monday for a memorial to be built at King High School at the site of the former Ridgewood Cemetery.
Hillsborough County purchased the land to build King High School in 1959, but the cemetery was never moved. In 1959 ground-penetrating radar revealed at least 145 sets of remains were still buried at the property.
Ybor Architect Jerel McCants has drawn plans for a memorial for the location. McCants says he wants it to evoke thoughts of praying hands releasing a flying dove.
“Before I did any kind of conceptual sketches, it was understanding the history of the burial ground and how I can restore that connection,” said McCants.
Hillsborough County School Board member Henry “Shake” Washington says he’s pleased with the plans.
“I was really excited about how we will bring this to a closure, hopefully, in the next month to two months,” said Washington.
Hillsborough County NAACP President Yvette Lewis says she also likes the memorial design but sees this as only a beginning.
“Now it’s time to tell the story. It’s time to tell the story of what happened and how did we get here. Our history isn’t pretty. Our history, a lot of it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good, but it’s time to tell the story.” said Lewis.