Gym construction continues to be delayed | September 25, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - September 25, 2009

Gym construction continues to be delayed

More Indian remains uncovered over last few weeks

by Geoff Gillette

The planned construction of the new gymnasium at San Ramon Valley High School, delayed in July after the discovery of human remains in the ground at the site, continues to be slowed as more Native American remains are unearthed.

Andy Galvan, designated as the Most Likely Descendant by the Native American Heritage Commission, has been overseeing the dig site since the remains were first discovered. His task has been getting the remains safely disinterred.

"A total of 49 discrete human skeletons have been identified," Galvan said. "During the course of burial excavations on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, one additional burial was disturbed."

The crews will remove the remains, store them safely until all are out, and then they will be reinterred in the Ohlones Indian Cemetery in Fremont.

SRVHS Principal Joe Ianora said the construction team is working on the site, but that they are very limited in what they can do while archeological crews unearth the remains.

The process is an exacting one as the crew members use fine brushes to clean all the dirt away from the remains, according to Galvan. A pencil sketch is then made and any remains not connected to the main portion of the find are individually removed and carefully bagged. The crew makes sure that any additional pieces are interred with the remains found at that location.

Neither Ianora nor Galvan were able to give a definitive time when the work will be finished, although Ianora said he thinks it should be done soon.

"The footings for the new gym are almost completely dug," he explained. "There is not much in that area that still needs to be dug out. So once they remove all of those remains, the work should be able to resume."

At this time it is unknown if the gymnasium will reach completion by summer 2010, or how the delays will affect the overall cost of the project.