Versar, Inc. Acquires Geo-Marine, Inc.
Versar, Inc. (NYSE MKT: VSR) has acquired Geo-Marine, Inc., a business with more than $20 million in annual revenues. The purchase price was paid with a combination of cash and seller notes. Geo-Marine, headquartered in Plano, Texas, provides engineering design, construction management, environmental planning and programming, and other services in support of a wide range of government, industry, and commercial clients.
VersarGMI’s ability to address municipal, state, federal, and private clients’ needs relating to the investigation of historic cemeteries and prehistoric burial sites is demonstrated in the firm's history of successfully completing such studies. VersarGMI has in-house staff members who are qualified physical anthropologists who oversee burial excavation and are able to conduct in-field analyses when necessary. The presence of these specialists alongside qualified historians and archaeologists provides an expert team for the evaluation of cemetery contexts.
In the past five years, the Cultural Resources Division has participated in over $2,000,000 of projects involving unmarked graves, historic cemeteries, the inadvertent discovery of human remains, or human identification. Our clients for these efforts have included Dallas County (Park and Open Space Program); U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Tulsa, Galveston, and Vicksburg districts; Pulte Homes (a Rowlett, Texas, housing development); and the Texas Department of Transportation. These investigations required extensive coordination with federal and state regulatory agencies as well as descendant communities. VersarGMI has been successful in these endeavors, for it recognizes the significant stake of the local descendant community in the decision-making process and attempts to reach a solution that both serves the objectives of science and the needs of the descendant community. Our team has experience in:
- Human remains identification
- Cemetery relocation
- Recovery operations
VersarGMI was contracted to conduct several tasks that would complete Texas Department of Transportation obligations under the Antiquities Code of Texas (Antiquities Permit # 991) for investigations conducted at Freedman’s Cemetery. VersarGMI was tasked with interpreting and reporting on the archaeological and archival investigations at Freedman’s Cemetery, Dallas, Texas. The Cultural Resources Division of VersarGMI worked closely with TxDOT, Black Dallas Remembered, and the African American Museum to tell the story of Freedman’s Town/North Dallas and the associated cemetery. An ethnically diverse team of historians, archaeologists, and biological and cultural anthropologists completed the research. A number of community scholars were also used to complement the staff of VersarGMI
The contracted tasks involved several aspects of the history of Freedman’s Town/North Dallas. A technical report was prepared that interpreted the data collected from the excavations of 1,150 burials conducted in the early 1990s at Freedman’s Cemetery. The technical report also focused heavily on the history of Freedman’s Town/North Dallas, tracing the enclave’s social, political and economic growth from its inception to the 1930s through extensive archival research and oral histories. The osteological and funerary artifacts were used to tell the story of the local African American community in relation to the larger community and for comparison with other African American community studies with comparable data. In conjunction with the technical report, a master plan was developed for immediate and ongoing community involvement, outreach, and education programs. Educational materials were prepared for use by DISD, the African American Museum and Black Dallas Remembered. A state-of-the-art exhibit and associated video were produced for display at the African American Museum (opened in 2000 and is still on exhibit). The story of a successful African American pioneer community was successfully retold.
Texas Historical Commission review staff found the report to be exemplary. Preservation Texas recognized the project as an outstanding example of the preservation of Texas’ multicultural history. The Council of Texas Archeologists awarded the E. Mott Davis Award for Outstanding Public Outreach to the project. The American Cultural Resources Association recognized the Texas Department of Transportation for supporting an outstanding cultural resources project.
This project was conducted as part of the required cultural resources investigations related to plans to expand the Dallas Convention Center in the area adjacent to the southern edge of the Pioneer Cemetery.
Cultural resources investigations were conducted to determine the potential for cultural resources, particularly human burials, in the area adjacent to the Convention Center along its property boundary with the historic Pioneer Cemetery. Archival investigations and research were conducted to establish historic contexts and the locations of potentially significant historic properties around the periphery of the Convention Center. Archaeological investigations including the use of GeoProbe coring to examine soils and to determine the extent of filling and disturbances, and systematic Gradall stripping and trenching to locate burials and other buried cultural resources, were used.
Seventeen burials were identified and removed during data recovery investigations in areas that were to receive the most extensive impacts. Laboratory analyses of eight juveniles and seven adults disinterred determined that these individuals ranged in age from a few days to older than 40 years, and that these individuals experienced similar levels of physical stress, disease, and other afflictions as other pioneering populations in Texas. The remains of these individuals were reinterred in the adjacent Pioneer Cemetery in a public, yet respectful ceremony at the end of the project.
These investigations were conducted under a permit required by the Texas Antiquities Code and administered by the Texas Historical Commission.