Lovett said the preset lawn crypts will better enable the cemetery to make full use of its space.
“We’re not expanding; we’re taking existing sections and getting more grave sites than we would have traditionally because you have to maintain at least 1 foot of earth between each grave sites, otherwise you’d have a big mess,” he said. “You take a thousand grave sites and take the foot (of earth) on each one away, you’ll gain a lot of grave sites. So that’s what we’ve done.”
Lovett said preset crypts require a backhoe to remove about 2 feet of dirt as opposed to digging a 5-foot hole.
Lovett said another positive is the quality of service the preset lawn crypts allow.
“The dignity is enhanced more than it was,” Lovett said. “Because a lot of times we’ll try to lower a liner into the ground or a casket into a liner, and boom! You hit the hard ground; you disturb it and it becomes unstable. We’ve enhanced our dignity of burials by going to this process, and we gain more grave sites, and not only that, we don’t have to spend the man hours of digging down 7 feet and dealing with cave-ins and so, it’s a win-win all the way around.”
Lovett said the project has not taken away from people visiting the grave sites of their loved ones.
“We haven’t received any complaints,” he said. “They’re able to go in and out. When you’re moving dirt like we’re having to move, the streets aren’t as clean as we’d like them, but it’s almost impossible with trucks going in and out.”
In addition, Lovett said work stops when burial services are being conducted.
The project started in mid-March and Lovett said it should be completed by November, if not sooner.
“I anticipate with the way its going now that it will probably be before November, but November is the contract time frame,” he said.
Lovett said many cemeteries, both national and private, are moving toward the preset crypts, and said depending on the cemetery, the ratio could be 80/20 in favor of the crypts.
“You still have to maintain some (traditional) grave sites because sometimes you have oversized (graves) that you have to maintain, and there are those who still want to do private liners or crypts,” he said.
Presently, Camp Nelson National Cemetery sits on 30 acres of land and is the final resting place for more than 12,000 grave sites which represent 14,000-15,000 burials, Lovett said.
He said Jessamine County Fiscal Court has donated close to 22 additional acres for the cemetery to expand once the need arises.
“I would venture to say somewhere around 2020 we will be going into an expansion over in that 22 acres,” Lovett said.